Sub-Zero Nights Turn Colder, Day Sun Averts Big Freeze

SRINAGAR: Night temperatures are on a steep nose-dive in Kashmir where Srinagar recorded a minimum of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius on Friday, two notches below normal, the meteorological department said.

With every night proving colder than the previous one, open sunshine during the day appears to be the only defence between the Valley and a big freeze.

The Dal lake, the Jhelum and other water bodies already have a layer of ice on the peripheries in the mornings, and boatmen begin their day by smashing the frozen surface to make way for shikaras and barges.

The meteorological department does not have good news for coming days as night temperatures are forecast to drop further with the weather remaining dry and the skies cloudless.

Gulmarg in the north recorded a minimum of minus 9.4 degrees on Friday night, Pahalgam in the south minus 5.4, frontier Kupwara minus 3.9, and Qazigund at the gateway to the Valley minus 5 degrees, while mercury had dropped to minus 16.2 in the Leh area of Ladakh, making it the coldest place in the state over the period.

The grip of cold has been made worse by highly erratic power supply and haphazard LPG distribution, residents say.

People in many areas complain of having to spend long hours in queues early on ice-cold mornings for their quota of cooking gas, saying that the government’s claims of streamlining LPG distribution had proved totally false.

“Gas dealers have adopted an arbitrary and high-handed approach to supplying the commodity," they say. 

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