Srinagar, Jan 24 (PTI) The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained closed for the third day on Thursday as fresh snowfall is hampering efforts of authorities to clear the road for vehicular movement.

The arterial road was closed on Tuesday after a snow avalanche blocked both tubes of the Jawahar Tunnel on Qazigund side.

The official said intermitted snowfall was hampering road clearance operations.

“The Jammu-Srinagar Highway is still closed for traffic. Efforts are on to make the road traffic worthy at the earliest,” an official of the traffic department told PTI.

Intermittent snowfall has been experienced in the rest of the valley also since Thursday morning, a MET department official said.

Meanwhile, the cold wave conditions intensified in Kashmir as the minimum temperature at most places witnessed a drop last night.

The minimum temperature in Srinagar last night settled at minus 1.5 degrees Celsius down from minus 0.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, the official said.

He said Qazigund the gateway town to the valley in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 3 degree Celsius, a dip of one degree celsius over the previous night.

The nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 6.7 degrees Celsius last night as the mercury dipped 1.4 degrees compared to previous night.

The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 2.4 degree Celsius, he said.

Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 12.6 degrees Celsius last night, a dip of 2 degrees over the previous night, while Pahalgam tourist resort, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius, the official said.

He said Leh, in the frontier Ladakh region, recorded a low of 14.2 degrees Celsius, a dip of nearly eight degrees over previous night.

The mercury in nearby Kargil settled at a low of minus 18.4 degrees Celsius.

Kargil was the second coldest place in Jammu and Kashmir, after Drass town where the minimum temperature settled at minus 19.3 degrees Celsius.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.

‘Chillai-Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.