Chilai Kalan, which in Kashmir refers back to the time between twenty first December to thirtieth of January, is taken into account the harshest month of winter right here. It’s going to be over in 15 days and there’s no snow in sight.
A couple of days again, individuals within the Jammu area of Jammu and Kashmir had been shivering with chilly because the day temperature was recorded round 8 diploma Celsius. Across the identical time, the temperature in Delhi was 12 diploma celsius in New Delhi. Surprisingly, the temperature in Kashmir area was greater than each areas, because it registered a temperature of round 15 Levels celsius on the stated day. This was the second highest most temperature of January in Srinagar after 50 years whereas the minimal temperature was minus 4.2 on Sunday. On the intervening evening of Friday and Saturday, the minimal temperature in Srinagar was additionally uncommon; it was zero diploma Celsius which is sort of unusual in January as mercury dips all the way down to minus 4 to 10 throughout January month.
For greater than two weeks now, individuals have been eagerly ready for snowfall however the local weather is totally dry and sunny. The Meteorological (MeT) division in Srinagar has predicted some snowfall within the coming days however that shall be very gentle and restricted to hilly areas.
As of January sixteenth, 2024, there was no snowfall from December twenty first, 2023. Snowfall did happen on November 10, 2023, and December 16, 2023, within the mountains of Kashmir and hills, significantly in Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Doodh Pathri, and Yusmarg, with recorded quantities of 4 to six inches. Nonetheless, it was a gentle snowfall, and the snow melted away inside a number of weeks.
These uncommon climate patterns have induced plenty of concern for not solely the environmentalists or climate specialists but in addition these related to the winter tourism trade as many vacationers have cancelled their bookings. Many snowboarding gamers are stated to have cancelled their bookings as there’s not even an inch of snow in Gulmarg. The native faculties in Srinagar and different districts who had plans to deliver their college students to Gulmarg have additionally cancelled their bookings and a few have misplaced their advance cash as effectively which that they had paid to accommodations in Gulmarg.
Rivers and Streams Drying Up
A couple of days again, Mukhtar Ahmad, director of the Indian Meteorological Division at Srinagar, whereas speaking to a personal information channel had stated that the state of affairs subsequent summer season may flip critical as there may not be sufficient water to feed the snow-fed rivers. A majority of rivers and streams in J&Okay are snow-fed and emerge from glaciers and if there is no such thing as a snowfall within the larger reaches it’s going to result in drought in the summertime.
Already the consuming water disaster is sort of seen. The Dood Ganga stream has virtually dried up attributable to no snowfall or rainfall over the last month. The state of affairs has additional turned ugly because the depth of Doodh Ganga has gone down drastically in the previous few years attributable to unlawful riverbed mining. The Doodh Ganga water filtration plant is receiving very much less water from its supply at Nowhar in Chadoora higher reaches. Earlier, I had been elevating my concern about dumping of strong and liquid waste in Doodh Ganga , now the water stage has additionally gone down because the circulate isn’t maintained in any respect. The water is seeping down into trenches and caves that had been created by big equipment and cranes utilized by mission proponents concerned in riverbed mining. The borewells and tubewells positioned on the banks of Doodh Ganga have additionally dried up in lots of locations and areas in metropolis uptown and components of Budgam district are going through acute water scarcity.
Infact using heavy equipment like JCBs and L&T Cranes has been banned by Nationwide Inexperienced Tribunal (NGT) and is being lastly enforced on the bottom from June 1st 2023 however the harm already induced within the final 2 years has been intense. The locals say that the harm that has been induced to Doodh Ganga, Shali Ganga, Vaishav, Romshi or Rambiara streams in Budgam , Pulwama , Kulgam or Shopian throughout final 2 years has been huge as in comparison with riverbed mining finished in final 15 years.
Mahesh Palawat, Vice President meteorology Skymet climate companies, informed India At this time in an interview that much less or no snowfall in Jammu & Kashmir shall be critical because the glaciers received’t get recharged. “In summer season these glaciers will soften at a sooner tempo”, Mr Palawat stated. He additional stated that if the development continued, it may progressively result in snow-fed rivers drying up.
Glaciers are receding
The melting of glaciers in Jammu & Kashmir together with Ladakh will severely influence the water availability within the Himalayan area with consequent hostile impact on the dependent livelihoods, a number one scientist has warned. In September final yr, the Govt of India had proposed forming a 13-member technical committee to guage the “carrying capability” of 13 Himalayan States which incorporates J&Okay as frequent landslides resulting in deaths and destruction had led the Supreme Court docket to moot a re-evaluation of the load-carrying capability of hill cities and cities. Until date it’s not recognized who’s the evaluating officer having been assigned the work to be taken up in J&Okay and Ladakh.
Research present that glaciers in Himalayan area have dwindled by 25% within the final 60 years whereas 48% of them may vanish by the century’s finish even with average local weather change.
Earth scientist and Vice Chancellor Islamic College of Sciences and Expertise-IUST Awantipora Kashmir Prof Shakeel Ahmad Romshoo, whereas speaking to PTI in October final yr had stated:
“We have now about 18,000 glaciers, a few of these glaciers are large just like the Siachen glacier which in a single dimension has a size of about 65 kms. The massive glaciers we’ve got, about 500 to 600 metres thick, are big assets in J&Okay and Ladakh. The opposite factor that’s occurring on this area underneath the local weather change is that we get much less snowfall and relatively we get extra rainfall”
In July 2010, whereas trekking in the direction of Tatakoti peak, I encountered an aged shepherd (Bakerwal) named Mian Khari within the Domail Ashtar valley, the place the Shali Ganga stream flows all the way down to Doodh Pathri. Mian Khari, who continues to be alive and hails from Rajouri, gestured towards the glacier and shared that when he was younger, the Tatakoti glacier’s snout was substantial. He remarked, “Over the span of 60 years, the Tatakoti glacier snout has considerably receded. Till mid-July, one may observe snow even 1 km down the glacier, however that’s not the case.”
Who’s to Blame?
The results of unplanned growth and uncontrolled urbanisation in Jammu & Kashmir have induced extreme environmental imbalance. We have now destroyed the whole lot. Legal guidelines and guidelines governing air and water air pollution are violated not solely by the non-public gamers however even by the regulation imposing businesses like J&Okay Air pollution Management Board , Srinagar Municipal Company , Municipal Committee and Geology and Mining Division.
Air Air pollution from cement and brick kilns has elevated black carbon emissions and that’s enhancing glacial meltdown. No snowfall in Kashmir throughout Chilaikalan has world local weather change causes however the environmental catastrophe we induced regionally can be answerable for it. If there shall be much less snowfall or no snowfall, the 2024 summer season will educate us numerous classes.
I hope it snows within the coming days and weeks and allow us to all pray for it. We shouldn’t even consider growth on the sample of Delhi, Mumbai or Indore. We stay in an ecologically delicate area and the Supreme Court docket has additionally taken a critical be aware of it as effectively within the matter of Ashok Kumar Raghav V/S Union of India case. In response to this Public Curiosity Litigation -PIL, the Govt of India in January 2020, circulated among the many 13 Himalayan states tips for assessing the carrying capability of their hill stations, together with cities and eco-sensitive zones. It had despatched a reminder on Could 19, 2023 to all of the 13 States to undertake the research and submit the motion plan as early as attainable however it’s not recognized what motion plan has been submitted by J&Okay Govt.
- Views expressed within the article are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially symbolize the editorial stance of Kashmir Observer
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