Srinagar: Chillai Kalan—harshest 40-day period in winter in Kashmir—is all set to end on Saturday, but this year’s winter has reminded the people of the good old days.
Kashmir has been witnessing the sub-zero temperatures since the day Chillai Kalan commenced. The two snow spells in upper reaches as well as plains wrapped the Valley into a white blanket and it getting frozen has led to snow remaining undisturbed everywhere.
The sub-zero temperature has led to the taps running dry as most of the water supply lines stand frozen. “After a long time we have witnessed a winter that’s reminiscent of the past. During the past years we used to witness short snow spells. Denizens of Srinagar city had completely forgotten about what the winter is all about,” said, a 70-year old, Ghulam Muhammad of Zainakadal area in old city.
He said, “We had become so busy in our lives we had forgotten what Chillai Kalan means. Now, it’s about to end and the weather will start improving as the February month starts. We have witnessed this type of winter when we were young. I am happy that the younger generation this year has realized how the winter in Kashmir used to be in the yesteryears.”
Another resident Farooq Ahmed said, “We need to give credit to the Power Department for ensuring smooth power supply despite Kashmir witnessing a very heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures. The gadgets that run on electricity helped us to fight the bone breaking cold. Had the Valley got plunged into darkness as it used to happen in the past life would have become very difficult for us.”
Ahmed said, “Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has not been able to clear the snow bound lanes and by lanes as it doesn’t have the proper equipment at place. Srinagar Mayor has made it clear that snow cannot be cleared from interior lanes without machinery.”
He said, “Most bye-lanes in Srinagar have turned into small glaciers as the snow has become hard due to temperature falling below zero degree Celsius. We will have to bear till the sun shines as the SMC has resigned by expressing its helplessness.”
He said, “This winter has taught us that we need to remain ready to face the harsh winter period of 40-days every year. Despite many things changing the past few years the winter in Kashmir has not changed and it’s a good omen.”