Srinagar freezes at -7.8 deg, coldest this season

United News of India

Srinagar, January 14, 2012

This summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir froze this morning after the minimum temperature dropped to the lowest of the season so far at -7.8 degree C this morning, freezing water taps, major parts of Dal Lake and other water bodies.
The earlier lowest minimum was -5.5 degree, recorded on January 8.
People in the entire city and outskirts were facing acute water shortage after water taps were frozen. It was after about two decades that the valley was facing such a situation.
The streets wore a deserted look as people stayed indoors. There were also less number of vehicles on the roads, which had become very slippery.
Major parts of Dal Lake were frozen, attracting tourists. The lake had completely frozen in 1986.
Vice Chairman Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) Irfan Yaseen has issued an advisory to the general public not to attempt to walk or skate on frozen water surfaces in the lakes, ponds or rivers, as there is apprehension that the frozen surface may break and result in drowning.
Volunteers of Civil Defence along with police personnel visited various areas including Dal Lake, Harwan Sarband, Narbal, Jhelum river and prevented children from playing on frozen water bodies.
The world famous health resort of Pahalgam, about 100 km from here in south Kashmir, also witnessed the coldest night of the season after the minimum dropped to -12.2 degree this morning.
The water level in all nallahs and rivers, including Lidder, has dropped considerably due to accumulation of snow on mountains.
Qazigund, the gateway of Kashmir and health resort Kokernag in south Kashmir also recorded the coldest night of the season.
At Qazigund, the temperature dropped to -13.6 degree, more than six degrees lower than yesterday. Truckers, who were stranded on the highway for the past few days, were seen heating diesel tanks in their vehicles to defreeze the diesel.
Kokernag registered -13 degree, breaking the previous lowest of -9 degrees on January 12.
The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, after witnessing the coldest night yesterday at -16.5 degree, recorded an improvement of one notch this morning at -15.2 degree.
People in the frontier district of Kupwara got some respite from the cold after the minimum was recorded at -2.7 degrees this morning against -4.2 degrees yesterday.
Even though there was some improvement in the temperature, people continued to shiver in the Ladakh region, which remained cut off from the rest of the state after the Zojila pass was closed for traffic from December 1 for six winter months.
After recording the coldest night of the season at -19.6 degrees yesterday, the border town of Kargil saw an improvement of two notches this morning as the minimum settled at -17.2 degrees.
Leh recorded (-)13.6 degrees against yesterday's (-)18.2 degrees, coldest of the season.