Srinagar: The harsh winter this year taught many lessons to people of Kashmir. They had to brave the chill and the sub zero temperatures in big concrete houses.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “The Chillai Kalan—harshest 40-day winter period—which ended recently taught us many lessons. It made us understand that the Valley is not like other places. Winters have always been harsh and can become harsher in coming years. So people should be ready to face the weather vagaries.”
He said, “It’s not only the freezing temperatures that haunt the people. There are other factors also that haunt the people. The 270-km Srinagar- Jammu National Highway (only all weather road connecting Kashmir with rest of the country) getting blocked add to the woes of people. Water taps getting frozen and other related problems this year multiplied the winter woes. The only respite people had this year was electricity as the Power Department worked hard to ensure that people get electricity without any disruptions.”
An observer said, “People need to bear in mind that they should make enough arrangements prior to the commencement of winter to survive as the climate has changed. The winter in the past two to three years has been severe. This fact cannot be ignored.”
He said, “The modern houses with big windows cannot be changed but measure can be taken to keep ourselves warm in the bone breaking cold. Not everyone can afford to go out during the winter season. Primitive methods to keep ourselves warm have to be explored.”
The observer said that this winter snow has turned into ice and many lanes and bylanes continue to remain blocked as the concerned departments couldn’t clear these due to insufficient equipment and lack of manpower. “The winter is all set to end in the coming days but that doesn’t mean we should forget what we faced. The administration needs to put its act together and formulate a strategy to mitigate the sufferings of people. Even in 21st century people of Kashmir are struggling to survive. J&K administration needs to take a cue from the governments of other countries where temperatures fall below minus 20 Degrees Celsius but life moves on,” he added.
“This winter has taught us a big lesson that nothing can be taken for granted except a Kangri (firepot) which has stayed with the people of Kashmir for ages. Surviving in winters is directly connected to have enough heating arrangements in place. The Jal Shakti Department will have to formulate a new strategy to ensure that water supply plants and pipes remain functional even in the freezing temperatures. If this can happen in developed countries why can’t it happen in Kashmir?” the observer asked.