The changing patterns
Our dependence on snowfall and rains during winter and autumn months is no hidden secret. Since our agriculture and horticulture sector is directly dependent on nature any deviation in the weather patterns proves costly for us.
Kashmir has since the past many years now witnessing an unprecedented weather patterns. This change in the weather patterns have led to various concerns among experts and the common masses besides, those whose livelihood is directly dependent on agriculture.
During the month of January 2018 Kashmir did not witness any rain or snowfall. This happened fpr the first time since 1980, which raised concern about the availability of water during the ensuing summer. Even the experts suggested that farmers should avoid all those crops which need a higher amount of water for cultivation. Even paddy was a no advice for the farmers for the past three years as the availability of water for the crop was believed to be a major issue.
This year the IMD has already announced that die to the El Nina effect Kashmir as well as Ladakh has witnessed a deficient downpour during summer and autumn months. This phenomenon is being witnessed for the past many years now.
In 2019 the downpour during the month of November was more than expected. Which also meant that the winter chill set in quite early and the night temperature touched minus during November, which again is quite early.
The early snowfall does not augur well for Kashmir valley is a well known fact. Not only does the agricultural activities come to a standstill but the horticulture activity also suffers a setback. The early downpour also leads to loses as orchards get damaged due to November snowfall.
Snowfall during December and January — the 40-days of harshest winter period known as ‘Chillai Kalaan’, when the chances of rain and snowfall is the highest — is critical for agriculture and horticulture sectors in Kashmir Valley.
This is because, snow accumulated in higher reaches of the Valley melts during summer, feeding many rivers and streams which ultimately gets used for irrigation purposes. However, the early onset of winter may create an imbalance in this set norm which will in the long run cost us dearly.
The key sectors like agriculture, horticulture and power generation therefore, may witness quite a few pullbacks if the weather pattern holds its present status. While, the people here are not expecting major changes in the present weather patterns, we need to introspect as to what has gone wrong on the environmental front.
The changing weather patterns need to be taken seriously as it concerns us all. We as a nation have to think collectively and without wasting any time have to reflect about the remedial measures that are needed to be taken. We have to act now, tomorrow may be too late.
We are too dependent on sectors like horticulture and if the weather patterns are any indication, the sector may witness tremendous stress in the coming years.