Mothballs shaken out of woollens early in Kashmir

September 8th, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Sep 8 (IANS) Early snowfall in the mountains and intermittent rain across the Kashmir valley have forced people to take out their woollens earlier than usual this year.“There has been early snowfall this year in the upper reaches of the valley, which has brought down the temperatures. This coupled with the intermittent rains during the last three days has added to the chill factor.

“That is why we feel cold even though the day and night temperatures hover around 23 degrees and 14 degrees Celsius here,” T.K. Jotshi, assistant director of the meteorological office here, told IANS.

“I had to take out my pheren (traditional Kashmiri tweed over-garment) earlier this year. It is quite cold, especially when you get up in the wee hours to eat the sehri (pre-dawn meal Muslims eat before starting the day’s fast during the month of Ramadan),” said 43-year-old Nazir Ahmad Mir, a government contractor.

“My mother and wife have also started wearing the pherens now,” he added.

“There has been snowfall in the upper reaches of Sonamarg, Yusmarg, Pahalgam and Sadna top in Baramulla district. Chilly winds from the mountains blow into the valley, bringing the temperatures further down here,” said Amir Ali, in-charge of the divisional disaster management cell here.

“I flew into the valley yesterday in a bush shirt. When I landed at the airport here, I almost started shivering. Fortunately, I had warm clothes at my official residence,” said a bureaucrat who did not want to be named.

Children can be seen wrapped in heavy woollens. “It is very easy to catch a cold in this weather. One has to be careful especially with the children who roam around in light clothes,” said Sakina, 34, a schoolteacher.

The setting in of cold weather earlier than usual this year has farmers worried.

“All my paddy is ready to be harvested. The unusual cold can damage the crop. The intermittent rains have also made timely reaping impossible,” said 67-year-old Habibullah.

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