Coldest night in Kashmir in 2 decades as minimum dipped to minus 7.4

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Srinagar, Jan 2 (UNI) People in Kashmir valley woke up to the coldest morning of the season in more than two decades with the minimum temperature dipping to minus 7.4 degrees Celsius.

Major parts of the Dal Lake and hundreds of other ponds besides tapes, water motors and drains were frozed.

We are expecting a change in next three-four days as Western Disturbances (WD) originating in Arabian sea are expected to touch the region, Deputy Director Met office P K Jotshi told UNI.

He said the minimum temperature was minus 7.4 degrees celsius, coldest of the season so far against minus 7.2 degrees C recorded on December 31 morning.

Mr Jotshi said in 1986 the minimum was recorded minus 7.9 degrees when the Dal Lake was totally frozen and people were playing cricket and ice hockey on its surface. However, in 1998 the minimum dipped to minus 7.5 degrees.

The lowest minimum temperature of minus 12.8 degrees was recorded on December 13, 1964 when water in the Dal lake was totally frozen and a vehicle crossed the waterbody from one end to another.

Mr Jotshi said the WD have still not touched Jammu and Kashmir because of which the sky remained clear, resulting in further drop in the minimum temperature.

We are expecting WD to touch the region through Afghanistan and Pakistan in next three-four days, he said, adding this will ease the cold wave conditions.

Meanwhile, major parts of the Dal Lake were again frozen this morning.

A UNI correspondent who visited the water body this morning saw shikarawalas breaking the frozen surface to make way for shikara (boat).

Official sources said hundreds of ponds and other water bodies besides tapes, water motors and drains were also frozen because of severe cold wave conditions.

Dry weather has resulted in considerable drop in the water level in the river Jehlum and Sindh and their tributaries in the valley.

The experts say the dry weather has also badly affected the vegetables and other crops besides fruit trees.

They have asked the farmers to water their vegetable crops and flowers.

The power generation in local hydel projects has also dropped considerably because of drop in the water level in rivers.

Besides scheduled power curtailment twice in a week in non-metered areas, people alleged they are facing unscheduled and frequent power cuts daily.

The state is importing power from different states to meet the local requirement during peak hours.

UNI BAS QAB SY RAI1351

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