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Heavy snowfall cripples life in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir

Life in Indian-administered Kashmir came to a halt on Sunday as air and road connectivity remained cut off after heavy snowfall in the region, officials said.

“Due to heavy snowfall on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the traffic movement is suspended and people are advised not to travel," the regional traffic control department announced on Sunday.

The snowfall also disrupted the air traffic in the region due to low visibility and accumulation of snow on the runway.

"No flight operations have taken place at the airport so far this morning due to accumulation of snow on the runway," an official at the Srinagar Airport was quoted by Press Trust of India as saying.

The meteorological department of the region on Saturday had forecasted heavy snowfall in the upper reaches while moderate snowfall in the plains.

The department had said that the western disturbances are likely to enter the Kashmir region by Sunday which may cause moderate to heavy snowfall. The department has forecast snowfall for at least three days in the region.

Meanwhile, in two separate road accidents on Sunday, 15 people were injured in the region after the buses they were traveling in skidded off the road.

Exams postponed

The University of Kashmir and the Cluster University Srinagar on Sunday evening postponed all the exams scheduled for tomorrow in view of the inclement weather and ongoing snowfall.

In a statement, the controller of examinations at Kashmir University, Prof. Irshad Ahmad Nawchoo said: "All undergraduate and professional exams scheduled to be held on Jan. 4 [Monday] are postponed in view of the inclement weather conditions."

New dates for the deferred examinations will be notified separately later on, the statement added.

The Kashmir police zone on Sunday established helplines in all districts of the region for people seeking help during an emergency arising due to snowfall.

The region’s police head, Vijay Kumar, directed all the district police chiefs to keep helpline numbers functional round the clock and render all the required assistance to the needy people.

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