Srinagar, Dec 29 (UNI) People in the Kashmir valley experienced coldest night of the winter so far when the minimum temperature dipped to minus 5.6 degree Celsius.
However, people in Leh, Kargil and Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, continued to shiver after the temperature dipped to minus 17 degree to minus 20 degree Celsius.
It was the coldest night so far during the '' Chalai Kalan'' 40-day-long coldest period of the winter, which started from December 21.
The temperature dipped to minus 5.6 degree, resulting in the freezing of the banks of Dal Lake. However, the frozen parts started melting as the day progressed.
Earlier, on December 18 the valley witnessed the coldest night with mercury dipping to minus 5.4 degree Celsius.
If the sky remain cloudy during the night, the minimum temperature will rise while the day temperature will fall, weather official said.
Water in the Dal was totally frozen when the lowest temperature of minus 12.8 degree Celsius was recorded on December 13, 1964.
The Lake was again frozen in 1986 when people walked and children played cricket and ice hockey over the frozen surface.
The spokesman said the Western Disturbances (WD) from Iran and Iraq entering the region through Afghanistan and Pakistan are very weak.
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 degree Celsius at some places.
At Leh and Kargil, the minimum fell to minus 17 degree Celsius.
People at several places in the Kashmir valley took to streets in protest against unscheduled power cuts.
Power generation in the local hydel projects has dropped after considerable fall in the water level in rivers because of almost dry weather for the past three months.
The state government is importing power from different states, including Jaharkhand to meet the local requirement.
The people at several places complained water shortage.
The prices of woolen and other warm cloths has also increased while coal which was Rs 180 per bag last week is being sold at Rs 250 to Rs 300 per bag.
Similarly, fire-wood which was being sold Rs 120 to Rs 150 per quintal in November is being sold Rs 300 per quintal.