Doda (JK): The high-altitude areas of Chenab valley in Jammu and Kashmir experienced unseasonal snowfall Monday, engulfing the region in wintry conditions and leaving hundreds of nomadic families, with their livestock, stranded.
The snowfall started in the higher reaches of Chenab region, especially in the surroundings of Gandoh and Bhadarwah valley, this morning, officials said.
The snowfall followed torrential rains that lashed large parts of Jammu and Kashmir since yesterday, bringing down the mercury by several notches.
Fresh snowfall was reported from the Kailash mountain range, Padri Gali, Bhaal Padri, Seoj, Shankh Padar, Rishi Dal, Gau-Peeda, Gan-Thak, Khanni-top, Guldanda, Chattar Galla and Asha Pati Glacier surrounding the Bhadarwah valley, the officials said.
They added that Braid Bal, Nehyed Chilly, Sharonth Dhar, Katardhar, Kainthi, Laloo Paani, Kaljugasar, Duggan Top, Goha and Sinthan Top also recieved fresh snowfall.
These high-altitude and vast grazing meadows are inhabited by the Gujjar and Bakarwal tribes in the summers.
The inclement weather has left hundreds of nomadic families, mostly from the Gujjar and Bakarwal tribes, stranded at various places, along with their livestock, the officials said.
The nomads were moving from the plains to the higher reaches in search of greener pastures and are facing tremendous hardships to feed their animals.
“Due to the inclement weather and repeated spells of snowfall in the higher reaches, we have got stuck with our sheep and goats on the roadside, without food and fodder,” Mariya Bi (69), a Bakarwal from Rajbagh village of Kathua, told PTI.
Mariya and her family are putting up on the roadside at Suigwari on the Doda-Kishtwar highway. She claimed that they had lost nearly a dozen sheep and goats over the last week due to the inclement weather.
“We were heading towards the Katardhar meadow with our cattle, but due to fresh snowfall in and around our meadow, we are forced to stay back at Kota Top, where we are finding it extremely difficult to get fodder for our buffaloes. If the weather does not improve, we will have to incur huge losses,” Zakir Hussain of Dhadkai village said.