After prolonged dry spell, Valley drenched in rains

Srinagar: Rains across Kashmir Valley, as well as fresh snowfall in higher reaches finally brought relief to the people from the prolonged dry spell that continued from the last five months.

The Valley’s plains received rainfall in the intervening night of Friday-Saturday while the higher reaches including Kashmir’s famous tourist destinations received a fresh snowfall, resulting in further dip in the temperature.

The government following the dip in the mercury has announced winter vacation to the schools and colleges from next month (December).

However, the weatherman here has predicted dry spell for over one week from tomorrow.

 “The higher reaches received a fresh snowfall while the plains received rains since Friday night. The weather would remain dry from tomorrow (Sunday) till over one week,” Director Meteorological Centre, Srinagar (MeT) Sonum Lotus said.

Meanwhile, the high-altitude areas in Jammu witnessed the season’s first heavy snowfall which led to closure of the Mughal Road, the alternate link between Kashmir and rest of the country, for vehicular traffic.

The day temperature in Jammu yesterday dipped six degrees below normal.

Officials said around two feet of snow had accumulated on the ground between Peer Ki Gali and Pushana, a 20-km stretch along the Mughal Road connecting Poonch district with south Kashmir’s Shopian.

Notably, the snowfall in the higher reaches has resulted in the closure of various roads.

The 434-km long Srinagar-Leh highway continued to remain closed on the second straight day today due to fresh snowfall and bad weather conditions in Zojila area.    

The Kupwara-Tangdarh road was also closed today due to the fresh snowfall. The officials informed Kashmir Vision that the Tangdarh area received a snowfall of at least 2 ft which led to the closure of Kupwara-Tangdarh road.

Besides, the officials informed that Keran as well as the Machil roads were also closed due to the fresh snowfall.

They informed that hilly areas in Tangdarh have received a snowfall of 04-08 inch. “The weather conditions in these areas improved this afternoon.”

Notably, the prolonged dry spell that continued in the Valley from last five months has resulted in huge loss to the agriculture sector with locals affiliated with the trade claiming that the prolonged dry spell has led to low yield as compared to the past years.

The prolonged dry spell has also proven detrimental to the Saffron cultivation in Kashmir as well.

Saffron growers informed that the prolonged dry spell in autumn season from last two years has been a persistent problem for the crop.

Shakeel Ahmed, a saffron grower from Chandhara village of Pampore Tehsil in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district predicts slump yield as compared to last three years.

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