Heavy Snowfall Cuts Off Kashmir Valley30 December 2010
Jammu: Even as the first major snowfall in Kashmir on Thursday ended the two month-long dry spell, it cut the Valley off from the rest of the world. All high and higher secondary schools, which were open as part of winter schooling, have been closed. Snow which began falling on Wednesday, accumulated in sizeable amounts throughout the Valley. Last received reports said it was still snowing. Five houses in South Kashmir were damaged due to heavy snowfall, according to reports. There was no electricity in most parts and many roads were closed for sometime. Authorities closed the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. Over 150 vehicles carrying passengers have been stranded, and efforts are on to clear the way for them. Due to heavy snowfall at the Srinagar International Airport, no flight could land or take off. “We were trying to clear the runway, but continuing snowfall has hampered the work,” an official said, adding that no operations would be possible on Friday if it continued to snow. Situation reviewed The government has given an assurance that all steps would be taken to clear the snow. Minister of State for Housing Nasir Aslam Wani reviewed the situation. The schools were closed due to inadequate heating arrangements. An official spokesperson said: “The education department has decided to close all winter schools following heavy snowfall in the Valley. Classes IX to XII shall cease to function till further orders.” Exams postponed The spokesperson said Minister for Education Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed directed education authorities to ensure that no school staff, including heads of institutions, leave station without prior permission from superiors. The Kashmir University has postponed examinations till January 2.