No Respite From Intense Cold in Kashmir

Srinagar, Jan 13: There was no respite from freezing cold in Indian administered Kashmir on Friday with the minimum temperature continuing to remain several degrees below freezing point.

A weather department official said Srinagar, the summer capital of the region, continued to remain in the grip of intense cold and night temperature was recorded as – 3.6 degrees Celsius. “The day temperature rose a bit and was above freezing point. The maximum temperature in the day was recorded 0 degree celsius,” he said.

He said Gulmarg skiing resort in north Kashmir was the coldest place in the Valley where mercury settled at – 16.5 degrees celsius last night. “The night temperature dipped in Pahalgam resort in South Kashmir to – 12.2 degrees Celsius,” he said.

He said the minimum temperature in Qazigund town of Islamabad district was – 6.2 degrees.

The official said minimum temperature in Kargil dropped to – 19.6 degrees Celsius last night. “It was the lowest in any part of the state this winter. Leh town recorded a minimum temperature of – 18.2 degrees Celsius,” he said.

The extreme chill across the Valley has caused immense hardships to people with water supply lines frozen. Many parts of the Dal Lake and other water bodies have also been partially frozen. Scores of people were seen walking on the frozen parts.

Meanwhile, authorities have asked people not to step on the frozen parts of Dal Lake as layer of ice formed on the water body due to intense cold was not strong.

“People have been advised not to attempt to walk or skate on frozen water surfaces in the lakes, ponds or rivers, as there is apprehension that the thin ice may break and result in drowning,” an official spokesman said.

He said in many areas, officials had to forcibly evict children from frozen water bodies.

Meanwhile, 296 kms long Jammu-Srinagar highway, the only surface link with Kashmir, was closed for traffic after landslides at several places.

Hundreds of passenger, goods and private vehicles are stranded at several places on the 296-km highway, only road link connecting Kashmir with rest of the world.