Braving the winter chill
The winter chill has been ferocious this year. On Thursday, the 28 year old record was broken as the temperature in Srinagar slipped to minus 7.6 degree Celsius.
This is probably after December 7, 1990, when the minimum temperature had dropped to minus 8.8 degree Celsius. Srinagar city recorded the coldest night of the season at minus 7.6 degree, breaking the December 31, 2007 record when the lowest temperature was recorded at minus 7.2 degrees in Srinagar.
The deep freeze that has engulfed the valley has led to increased problems for the residents here. Water taps, lakes, ponds and other water bodies have frozen and the movement of people has become all the more troublesome especially in the early morning and evening hours.
In contrast to past many years, Kashmir has been in the throes of a severe winter this season. The cold weather conditions started as early as October and the season’s first snowfall in the valley on November 2, 2018 left the people shivering.
While locals have been trying to fight this winter chill on their own using some traditional methods, it’s the government and the administration that is failing them like always. The Valley is witnessing severe power crisis with electricity cuts being increased with every passing day.
Even in cent percent metered areas power failures are reported very frequently and there is no respite in sight for the time being for the local populace here. With these harsh winter conditions throwing up a challenge for the people here, the hapless breed of Kashmiri’s have busied themselves with working out traditional ways and means to brave the harsh winter.
But what has forced this change in the temperature and the early onset of winter in the valley is a point of debate. Scientists associated with climate change and geography attribute the present harsh winter conditions to various global phenomena’s.
The climate change which has turned the season to severe cold here is attributed to high carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere. The high level has led to sudden decrease of temperature by some degrees which is reflected during this winter season.
But what is worrying the locals here is the failure of the administration to provide some additional support to the people here. The people in Kashmir, Ladakh and Pir Panchal regions are exposed to harsh winter conditions compared to the plains of Jammu and other districts.
However, the government has as usual turned a blind eye to the needs of the people as no measures whatsoever have been assured by the government. The best the administration could have done is to ensure a better availability of power supply and try to provide some other remedial measures like making firewood available at concessional rates so that those who can afford to, will use it for keeping themselves warm and seek protection from the severe winter conditions.
The availability of fuels like LPG and Kerosene too could have eased the problems of the people to some extent, but so far the administration is yet to think on these lines.