Woollens back as temperature nosedives

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Srinagar—In view of unpredicted nature of  weather,  people of  Kashmir are busy planning  to go out of the valley , but middle and lower-middle classes were buying  woollens and  piling stocks of  firewood and  charcoal to  ward off severe  cold  in winter which normally starts from  middle of next month

Even authorities advanced the winter vacation of schools by a fortnight in view of unpredicted nature of the weather here. Normally, winter vacation of the schools start from middle of December but this year the authorities advanced  it to December three.

Kashmiris who are living outside the valley are much sough out these days as  requests from  their kins  to join them  during  winter months have started coming. “I I am a phone call way, each day  I receive two  to three calls  from relatives and friends that they intend  to come t o meet in  winter.   Every caller inquire about the space in the rented accommodation “, says  Tariq Ahmad who is in Jammu.

He said he cannot say “no” to the callers as they  are all near and dear ones. But one thing is clear that  I  have not much space here.

Similar is the case with Abid in Delhi. He says he  is also receiving calls to  accommodate friends and relatives this winter, but I have not much accommodation. 

However, those who have no relations outside are  exploring possibility of getting the accommodation for winter . Some of them are planning  pilgrimage to  Ajmer and other religious places outside the state to  escape winter.

Transporters  also are planning to take pilgrims to other destinations especially Ajmer.

But those who cannot afford to spent  huge money for going outside are busy here in stockpiling of woollens  besides firewood and charcoal to ward off intense cold. There was a heavy rush of people seen buying heavy woollens from Sunday markets. Although there was no rain today but sky remained cloudy but large gatherings of people were seen buying heavy woollens. 

Meanwhile, the night  temperatures in leh l in frontier region of ladakh dipped to below freezing p oint at minus 7.9 degrees Celsius. In the nearby Kargil  it was minus 5.8 degrees Celsius.

The situation in Srinagar, summer capital of the state, was no different as  it recorded minus 2.9 degrees Celsius while Gulmarg hill resort in north Kashmir was the coldest p lace in the valley with a low of minus 4.6  degrees Celsius.

Pahalgam, 90 kms from here, in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.5 degrees celisus.

Mughal Road  which serves as an alternate route between the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region remained closed today due to fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours..

Road connectivity between the valley and the Ladakh region remained suspended for the third consecutive day today due to heavy snowfall on the nearly  11,500 feet high Zojilla Pass situated on Srinagar-Leh highway. The pass attracts heavy snowfall during the winter as a result of which the road remains closed for about six months.

Traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway was, however, not interrupted.

The weather office has forecast partially cloudy sky in the state during the next 24 hours.

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