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Srinagar shivers at minus 8.8 after three decades

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Valley strives for drops of water as supply lines, in-house water pipes freeze

Srinagar: The harshest 40-day winter period in Kashmir — “Chillai-kalan” — ended on Sunday, but as a parting gift it brought mercury down to give Srinagar its lowest minimum temperature in 30 years.

Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 8.8 degrees Celsius on Saturday night — down from minus 7.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, officials said.

This was the lowest minimum temperature recorded in the city since 1991, when the mercury had fallen to minus 11.4 degrees Celsius.

Srinagar had recorded a low of minus 8.4 degrees Celsius on January 13.

The entire city faced a terrible water supply crisis as most of the taps were frozen and people were seen trying to defrost the supply lines and the interior water pipes.

The situation in rural Kashmir too was the worst, in some areas, people collecting the snow and boiling it to take care of their domestic water requirements.

Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius, down from minus 8.8 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said.

The minimum temperature in the ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district settled at minus eight degrees Celsius — up from the previous night’s minus 10.0 degrees Celsius.

The Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 12 degrees Celsius — marginally up from the previous night’s minus 12.5 degrees Celsius.

Kupwara recorded a low of minus 4.7 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag in the south registered a minimum temperature of 13.1 degrees Celsius.

The extreme cold conditions have resulted in the freezing of waterbodies and drinking water supply lines in several areas of the Valley.

“Chillai-Kalan” ended on Sunday but there is little respite in store for the residents of Kashmir as the minimum temperatures are expected to remain below the freezing point for the next couple of days.

The weatherman has forecast the possibility of a western disturbance hitting the Valley on February 02 which may bring up temperature.

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