The cold wave in Kashmir intensified as the minimum temperatures further dropped at most places in the valley on Saturday. Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 8.2 degrees Celsius, down from minus 7.6 degrees Celsius the previous night, said the weather office. The plunge in the minimum temperature has also resulted in the freezing of water supply pipes and the Dal Lake. A thick blanket of fog engulfed many parts of the valley, affecting visibility. Personnel of the State Disaster Relief Force and the river police have been patrolling around the frozen Dal Lake so that people stay away.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar on Friday was over six degrees below the normal for this time of the year, the weather office said. The city had recorded a low of minus 8.4 degrees Celsius on Thursday - the coldest since 1991.
A few days ago, the Ministry of Railways tweeted visuals of track maintenance and snow clearing operations at the Srinagar railway station.
One of the most spectacular view this winter!— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) January 9, 2021
Srinagar Railway station- encompassed by Nature's snow blanket & Track Maintenance operations underway to clear the snow from the railway tracks. pic.twitter.com/uE4OzXZyeV
The Pahalgam tourist resort, which is also the base camp for the Amarnath pilgrimage in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 9.4 degrees Celsius, down from the previous night's minus 8.6 degrees and Gulmarg recorded minus 5.4 degrees. Qazigund - the gateway to the valley - recorded a low of minus 10 degrees Celsius.
A thick layer of ice was seen on most roads in Srinagar and elsewhere in the valley, making it difficult for people to drive. Kashmir is now undergoing the ''Chillai-Kalan'' or the 40-day harsh winter period when the temperature drops drastically. The chances of snowfall are also maximum during this period especially in the higher reaches. ''Chillai-Kalan'', which began on December 21, will end on January 31.