Srinagar, Nov 20: The denizens of Kashmir division experienced bone-chilling cold as the night temperature in most places, including the summer capital of Srinagar, slipped below the freezing point, compounding the problems of those affected by the recent floods. [J&K poll: Motor rally organised to spread voting awareness]
Leh town in the frontier region of Ladakh was the coldest, with a temperature as low as minus 10.0 degrees Celsius, while Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir was shivering at season's low of minus 8.6 degrees Celsius, a spokesperson of the meteorological department said.
Srinagar, the worst-hit in the September floods, recorded the coldest night of the season with a low of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius, he further added. Kargil was the third coolest place with a minimum of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature in the city fell below freezing point yesterday, for the first time this season, when the mercury settled at minus 0.2 degrees Celsius, one degree below normal during this part of the season.
Qazigund, the gateway town on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, recorded a low of minus 1.4 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature in north Kashmir's Kupwara town also fell and settled at minus 1.2 degrees Celsius. Gulmarg, the famous ski resort and the main attraction for tourists visiting the valley during winter, recorded a low of minus 0.2 degrees Celsius.
Tough times ahead
Gulmarg, along with high altitude areas of the valley, witnessed several brief spells of snowfall early this month. The floods in September caused massive devastation in the valley, displacing thousands of families - many of whom are still living in tents or tin-sheds within their localities. With the onset of the winter, many of the displaced families were forced to take shelter at the homes of their relatives, rented accommodation, government buildings and places of worship to escape the biting cold.
The weatherman has forecast further dip in the night temperature in the coming days due to dry weather, which many residents feel as a blessing for those families who lost their homes to the floods and have started reconstruction work. Owing to the dry weather, the days are warmer but the night temperature has started slipping below the freezing point.