Early Snowfall In Kashmir

Early Snowfall In Kashmir

Nature, having no substitute, is always under the control of Almighty. So having not our control for it’s early occurrence, snowfall, a natural phenomenon, can occur any time by the will of God, as it happened this year before more than a month’s time from the beginning of winter. But the annoying thing that it caused among us is a huge damage to Apple Industry and left the people unaware and unprepared to face it, as it came all of sudden. This year as a coincidence, the snowfall happened here simultaneously with the move of civil Secretariat from Srinagar to jammu. Pertinently Jammu and Kashmir has two capitals, hence two Civil Secretrates , Civil Secretariat Srinagar in summer and Civil Secretariat Jammu in winter keeping in view the chilly winter in Srinagar and the beating heat in Jammu during summer.

As bureaucrats, politicians and other people belonging to well off families do their arrangements for living winter months in the warm part of state the Jammu, accordingly they do it right at the proper time and would have packed for jammu, days before the snowfall. But the left behind are those who need to remain ready to face the winter as they can’t afford to live seasonal migratory life. Being the precious resource of Kashmir, by every year, the people over here in Kashmir wait eagerly for first snow fall to welcome it with a pleasant note and social media immediately gets full of photos, videos, and posts while the people greet each other with good wishes for every first snowfall. But as this year it occurred all of sudden very early before the proper time , made the people not happy because of its obstruction to carry out their incomplete business, and due to its huge damage to Apple orchards.

The snowfall neither allowed the authorities nor the common people to get ready to face it, as no red alert, or advisory from higher ups was issued so that people would have shed of the snow from trees before it snowed huge. Every thing people need to do here before the onset of winter is altogether in a scattered position, people are still busy to put in place those necessary things that they direly need in winter. It remains the fact that for most of the people here in Kashmir, the earning months are the summer months. However with the beginning of winter the business gets freezed along with the freezing of snow, means during the winter season most of the people here remain almost idle , due to extreme chill and non-availability of work.Though there have been cases of early snow falls at higher reaches like Gulmarag and Sonamarg etc, in the beginning of November almost every year, but the plain areas of Kashmir get first snowfall in ending December.

So authorities later than never need to facilitate the people with all possible arrangements like availability of road clearing machines, heating arrangements for students in examination halls, restoration of power supply were it would get affected in rural areas and issue advisory to people so that they would remain cautious to minimise such a huge damage.

This time the winter season has welcomed the people of valley with it’s untimely first snowfall on 02/11/18 and has dropped the mercury level down abruptly. This unprecedented snow fall and onset of early winter has put the people unprepared for arrangements in advance for winter season like they do every year.Being the inseparable part of every winter , the snow is not only the decorative part of Kashmir but has a very crucial rule to facilitate the feeding sources for many irrigation canals besides getting percolated into the ground and gets stored as an underground water body which has also it’s great importance. So the snow has a great significance and importance both from touristic point of view and agricultural point of view. However it’s timely occurrence is very beneficial for either of the said sectors in Kashmir.

Winter tourism is entirely dependent on snow fall, and if it occurs late the winter tourism as well as the winter sports do get affected badly, as the visitors remain unwilling to turn towards Kashmir when they hear about lesser quantity of snow here in winter. However this year on one hand the early snowfall can prove good for the winter tourism but on the other hand , most of the other sectors which people mostly belong to can get badly stuck. People need not less than a snow free month yet to conclude their fruit business and other arrangements for winter. Usually what happens is that first snow fall occurs most probably toward the ending of December. So in the month of November and December people start arrangements for winter like to get available the warm clothes, Kangries (traditional firepots for warmth) charcoal for Kangries, sun-dried vegetables mostly cooked in the village areas of valley in winter. But all these things remained unarranged with the eraly onset of winter.

Moreover, the apple growing business, the most of the people in Kashmir belong to is completely under process. Hardly a few small growers have concluded the harvesting. Usually the growers conclude harvesting process towards the ending of November, and are still busy to pack their crops to despatch them off to various big fruit markets in India. The recent snowfall would have badly hampered their process of work and would have damaged the portion of crop still on the trees. Moving towards the education sector, government used to announce winter vacation before the first snow fall, which is mostly announced in the month of December.

However this time the children also are not spare from the disturbance of untimely snow, because the exams which according to the yearly calendar of education department (DSEK) were scheduled to be held in the month of October like that happens every year. But due to unknown reasons most of the elementary class students are yet to appear in exams due to deferment in the schedule by authorities. Perhaps due to this long delay and very cold weather the children would not feel good in the examination centres too. Right that you can’t do away with occurrences of natural phenomena , but to remain prepared to face the challenges has to be done by you. So authorities later than never need to facilitate the people with all possible arrangements like availability of road clearing machines, heating arrangements for students in examination halls, restoration of power supply were it would get affected in rural areas and issue advisory to people so that they would remain cautious to minimise such a huge damage.
(The authors are freelancers. Views are their own)

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