Chill Returns To Kashmir After Heavy Snow Spell

   KO Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: After three days of snowfall, dry weather conditions returned to Kashmir on Thursday with mercury dropping in most places last night with Gulmarg recording a low of minus 8.5 degree Celsius.

The Kashmir Valley also remained cut-off from the rest of the country although the air traffic to and fro the valley was restored on Thursday morning.

However, lack of snow clearance reroute to Srinagar airport led to massive traffic jams, forcing many passengers to travel several kilometres by foot.

The heavy snowfall threw life out of gear in the valley with the administration pressing men and machinery into service to clear the roads of snow.

Srinagar city, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 0.8 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature in Gulmarg tourist resort settled at minus 8.4 degrees Celsius compared to minus 3.5 degrees Celsius a night earlier.

Here in Srinagar, residents accused the government of “abandoning” them to snow as most lanes and by-lanes remain blocked.

“It is more than two days since the snowfall stopped but most lanes and by-lanes are still blocked with snow,” residents of Lal Bazar area of Srinagar said.
“It is not for the first time that there has been snowfall but such a callous approach was not seen in the past,” they said, adding, “The government has abandoned people to snow.”

Residents of Naribal Amda Kadal said that it was impossible to move through lanes and urged the government to think “at least about the patients.”

“God forbid if there is an emergency, the loss could be irreparable,” a resident of the area said. “It seems that both the government and the people have to bank on sunshine.”

Reports regarding lanes and by-lanes remaining blocked with snow were received from almost all areas of Srinagar and other districts.

“The government is meant for people. We are not even getting milk and vegetable supplies as milkmen and vendors are unable to move load carriers,” residents of Hajibagh Buchpora area of Srinagar said. Residents of Old City including Rainawari, Zainakadal, Radpora, Bohri kadal, Eidgah, Hawal and others said that lanes continue to be blocked with snow.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological (MeT) office has said the weather is likely to remain mainly dry till January 14.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ''Chillai-Kalan'' -- the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.

The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.

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