Winter to arrive early; people, officials gear up to face challenges      

By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: Amidst prediction of winter arriving early this year, people have started making preparations to prevent the losses that could occur due to early snowfall and administration is gearing up to ensure that essential commodities remain available in abundance.
The weatherman has predicted heavy rains and snow at many places in J&K, mainly on October 23, and said that the wet spell could damage orchards and lead to temporary disruption of major highways on hilly areas. “A fresh spell of widespread moderate rain/snow is most likely during 23rd October forenoon to 25th. Heavy rain/snow is very likely at many places of j&k mainly on 23rd,” a MeT official said.
The Horticulture Department has also issued an advisory for the growers. Farmers have been advised to speedup harvesting of fruits and its proper storage. The other advice include cleaning of drainage channels so that stagnation of water does not take place in orchards and proper support to the trees which were earlier damaged or uprooted due to last year’s snowfall.
The farmers have been asked to remain vigilant and in case of snowfall must visit their orchards periodically and shake trees so that snow does not accumulate on the limbs. Farmers have been asked to start pruning in their orchards where, in view of the harsh weather advisory. However, there is no need for any panic and for further assistance please contact your nearest Horticulture Office or office of Chief Horticulture Officer of the District,” the advisory said.
An official while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “The administration is getting ready to ensure that people don’t face any problems. There is a possibility of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway getting blocked, so we are ensuring that enough essentials are in stock so that there is no shortage. Besides, the oil companies have been asked to keep the gas cylinders available in abundance.”
The official said, “The Western Disturbance that is approaching Kashmir is likely to have more effect in the upper reaches. We are sending enough stocks to far-flung areas to ensure that there is no shortage of any commodity.”
It’s in place to mention here that temperatures across Kashmir have plummeted during the past few days and people have already started wearing warm clothes. “Weather has changed and it seems that Autumn has ended and winter has arrived early. In 2019 and 2020, Kashmir received its first snowfall in November. It seems this year we are likely to witness the snow in October itself,” said Amir Ahmed.
He said that the winter is nothing new in Kashmir and people are used to it but the government should ensure that essentials don’t disappear from the markets.

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