Daylong snowfall in Gulmarg hill station

November 13th, 2008 - 8:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Nov 13 (IANS) Gulmarg hill station in Jammu and Kashmir received snowfall through the day Thursday, in the first major snowfall in the higher reaches of the Kashmir Valley which is already reeling under near cold wave conditions.Snowfall in the north Kashmir resort, which is known for winter sports and located 54 km from Srinagar, began at 5 a.m. The 14-km road from Tangmarg town to Gulmarg now lies blocked.

“Due to a western disturbances, the valley has been experiencing precipitation for the last 12 hours and rain and snowfall in the higher reaches is likely to continue for another two days,” T.K. Jotshi, assistant director of the local weather office, told IANS here.

The minimum temperature was five degrees Celsius Thursday which according to Jotshi was four degrees above normal.

Asked why the valley was reeling under near cold wave conditions despite the temperature being above normal, the weatherman said: “It is because of the chill factor. Cold winds blow into the valley from the snow-clad mountains which add to the chill factor during the day.”

Locals have already started using the traditional tweed overgarments called ‘pheren’ to ward off the cold.

During winter months, Kashmiris use special firepots called the ‘kangris’ which are earthen firepots woven in willow wicker.

“There is a drastic cut in electric supply and we get electricity for hardly 10 hours during the day. This has made things worse,” said Gulam Mohiuddin, 48, who lives in the old city area of summer capital Srinagar.

The electric department engineers say the local demand for electricity has multiplied manifold because of the use of electric heaters and boilers and this often causes system failures resulting in supply breakdowns across the Valley.

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