Kashmir valley shivers as rest of India burns under a searing heat wave | india | Hindustan Times
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Kashmir valley shivers as rest of India burns under a searing heat wave

Fire-pots (Kangri) and woolens are back in Kashmir at a time when the rest of the country is sweating under searing heat wave, reports Peerzada Ashiq.

india Updated: May 19, 2010 15:32 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

Fire-pots (Kangri) and woolens are back in Kashmir at a time when the rest of the country is sweating under searing heat wave.

An intermittent rain, on for a fortnight now, has brought day temperature down by 13 notches in Srinagar, as day temperature hovers around 10-11 degrees Celsius.

A Metrological department on Tuesday predicted more rain in the next 24 hours. "A Western disturbance still persists over Jammu and Kashmir. There will be rain. But might improve in a couple of days," a Met official said.

The Met Department forecast snowfall in upper reaches of Pir Panjal Mountains and Zojilla Pass ---- the Ladakh region's only land link with the Valley. The Srinagar-Leh highway is closed for vehicular traffic due to the rain.

Since the first week of May, Kashmirhas witnessed more than 30 mm of rain.

"Compared to the past two years, there has been severe cold this year in May," admitted Sonam Lotus, Kashmir MeT director.

Rain, however, has disrupted normal life in Kashmir. Water logging in low-lying areas has made it difficult for people to venture out. "I have taken off for the day from the office. Lanes of our area are flooded and cars develop snag with water streaming in," said Abdul Latief, a resident of Natipora and an employee with the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD). Situation is grim in south Kashmir where river Jehlum is flowing over the danger mark at several places. The Urban Engineering and Environment Department and Flood and Control Department have placed its officials on high alert to meet any eventuality.

More than six dewatering machines have been working round the clock in the city. The department, however, has failed to bring any relief to the city residents, as Lal Chowk, uptown areas and downtown areas' main roads remain inundated.

Worst affected are the farmers in the Valley. In Ganderbal, Anantnag, Pulwama, farmers, who have sown paddy, offered special prayers in mosques. The state government had predicted drought-like situation this summer and asked farmers to plant corn other than rice. A total area under rice cultivation in Kashmir is 263.25 thousand hectares acres, which yields 5620 thousand quintals per acre. "This dip in temperature and rainfall is temporary phase. It won't help to change conditions in August, September when we need water to irrigate paddy fields," claimed Mian Majeed, Director Agriculture, Kashmir.

Eleven people have died in cloud burst in upper reaches in Kashmir since April 23 and more than 100 domesticated animals killed across the Valley, said a government official.