Drought like conditions in Kashmir emerge as challenge

Drought like conditions in Kashmir emerge as challenge
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Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, Apr 9: Incessant rains lashing Kashmir since Sunday afternoon have broken the dry spell but experts are of the opinion that these rains won’t help in ending the drought like conditions.
An expert while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “This year Kashmir did not receive the requisite amount of precipitation during the winter months. Its effects would be visible in coming days. Farmers have already been advised not to go for paddy cultivation and to plant the crops which need less water.”
According to the official date average snowfall and rainfall for preventing drought conditions has to be 198.2mm from December to February, but this winter it has been less than 40mm.
“This year we may also face shortage of drinking water as the water bodies are dry. The government should issue an advisory asking people to dig the bore wells and tube wells so that underground water could be utilized to overcome the shortage,” said an expert.
He said that rainfall from Sunday afternoon would last till Wednesday and after that there is no prediction of any widespread rainfall in the Valley. “The government should come up with a plan to face the drought like conditions and import enough rice to ensure that people don’t face the scarcity. Besides keeping an eye over import of rice into Kashmir the government should ensure that prices don’t sky rocket and black marketers and hoarders don’t take advantage of the situation,” the expert added.
An official said that this year temperature in March month was above the normal. “On March 31, Srinagar recorded a maximum of 28.3 degrees Celsius, 10.7 degrees above the normal and breaking the record of the previous highest, which was 27.3 degrees Celsius on March 27, 1971,” the official added.
He said the soaring temperatures could play havoc and add to the problems of the people in coming days. “If the summer remains pleasant may be it would bring some respite for the people. We can just wait and watch and hope for the best.”
An expert said that people who have been studying the climate change have been predicting that the future climate and its impact could well trigger bloody wars fought over access to basic necessities like drinking water and food grains. “The change of climate is causing melting of glaciers which are precious reservoirs of clean water. It would not only destroy world’s fresh water reservoirs but is also projected to cause droughts, floods, erode coastlines as sea levels would rise, reduce the area of arable land, adversely impact fish and food stocks and trigger large movement of populations to safer areas,”
He said, “Climate refugees would face hostility from local residents and this could lead to conflict. Large scale migration and competition for food resources could become a serious security challenge. Climate change has made it clear that its change is happening largely because of human activity.”