Non-stop snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir over the last three days has cut off parts of the Union Territory - particularly the Kashmir Valley - from the rest of the world.
Unusually heavy snowfall - four to five feet - was recorded in the south Kashmir region, where normal life has been badly affected. Electricity supply has remained hit over the past few days, and both air and road traffic stood disrupted even on Tuesday.
The Border Roads Organisation has started snow clearing operations at the Srinagar Airport from where no flights have been able to take off or land since Sunday.
Snow is also being removed from the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and the Mughal Road - connecting Jammu with Kashmir Valley - where nearly 4,500 vehicles, mostly trucks carrying essentials to the valley, are stranded.
Though snow clearance operations are ongoing along inter- and intra-district routes, road closures have forced local authorities to order fuel rationing. Petrol, diesel and even liquefied petroleum gas are being distributed in limited quantity to overcome any shortage because of the inclement weather. Orders have also been issued to check black marketing.
"Buses, trucks and commercial vehicles will get a maximum of 20 litres, while private vehicles (four wheelers) will get only 10 litres. Three wheelers will get 5 litres of fuel while two wheelers will get only 3 litres," stated an order issued by Kashmir Divisional Commissioner PK Pole.
The administration has also put a cap of 21 days on refilling for LPG cylinders.
Many stranded tourists have also been evacuated.
The snowfall, which has helped keep Kashmir's temperature from plummeting, is likely to continue for at least one more day. The mercury is expected to drop sharply.
(With input from Agencies)