Air traffic resumes, highway reopens after snowfall in Kashmir

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SRINAGAR — A day after remaining cut off from the outside world, Kashmir’s aerial and surface links were restored on Saturday as flight operations resumed at Srinagar International airport and Jammu-Srinagar Highway reopened for traffic.

Director, Airport Authority of India (AAI), Srinagar Airport, Kuldeep Singh, spoke to the news agency GNS and said that snow was cleared from the runway and apron early in the morning. “Flight services have resumed. The first flight arrives by noon,” he said.

Asked about the number of flights expected to operate during the day, he said, “We are looking forward to having a maximum number of flights today.”

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Following snowfall on Friday, most of the flights to and fro Srinagar were cancelled and the airport authorities have already announced passengers of the cancelled flights would be accommodated by the respective airlines in the next available flight “at no extra cost.”

Meanwhile, traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, the only surface link connecting Kashmir Valley with the outside world, reopened and according to the officials, light motor vehicles have been released from both ends of the thoroughfare. The strategic highway was closed mainly due to shooting stones and mudslides near Mahar in Ramban district.

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Mughal road, connecting the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri with Shopian, as well as the Srinagar-Leh highway have been already closed for this winter.

The Mughal road has been closed for vehicular movement vide District Magistrate Shopian’s order from January 5 in view of snow accumulation.

Also, the Srinagar-Leh highway was closed for vehicular movement vide Divisional Commissioner Ladakh UT’s Order (No. 75) on January 6 in view of snow accumulation.

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