People in Kashmir continue to shiver

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Srinagar, Dec 18 (UNI) Cold wave conditions due to cloudy sky, coupled with unscheduled power cuts, water shortage and price rise of woolen clothes and coal have affected life in the Kashmir valley.

People in Leh, Kargil and Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, continued to shiver after the temperature dipped to minus 16 degree Celsius.

After witnessing the coldest night with the mercury dipping to minus 5.4 degrees yesterday, the minimum temperature was normal today, a weather office spokesperson told UNI.

He said the night temperature was minus 2.1 degrees, which was normal because of cloudy sky.

However, due to the over cast conditions during the day, the maximum temperature at 1430 hours was 3.6 degrees, he said, adding 8 degrees was being considered normal during this period of December.

If the sky remained cloudy during the night, the minimum temperature will rise while the day temperature will fall, he said.

''We expect Western Disturbances (WD),'' he said.

Parts of Dal Lake remained partially frozen today because of drop in the day temperature due to icy cold winds sweeping the region.

The Dal Lake was totally frozen when the lowest temperature of minus 12.8 degrees was recorded on December 13, 1964. It is said a vehicle could cross the Lake from one end to another over the ice.

The Lake was again frozen in 1986 when people walked and children played cricket and ice hockey over the frozen surface.

The spokesperson said WD from Iran and Iraq, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, passed the region last week. ''We expect the WD, which actually originates from Arabian Sea, mostly Iran and Iraq and enters the state through Afghanistan and Pakistan, very soon.'' He said the frequency of WD increases during winter till March next year when it will again start decreasing.

Drass continued to shiver after the temperature dipped to minus 20 degrees C at some places.

At Leh and Kargil the minimum fell to minus 16 degrees.

People at several places in the Kashmir valley took to streets in protest against unscheduled power cuts.

Power generation in the local hydel projects had dropped after considerable fall in the water level in rivers because of almost dry weather for the past three months.

The state government was importing power from different states, including Jaharkhand to meet the local requirement.

People at several places also complained of water shortage.

The prices of woolen and other warm cloths had also increased while coal which was Rs 180 per bag last week was being sold at Rs 250 to Rs 300 per bag.

UNI

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