No wonder, the early snowfall has boosted tourism in the Valley and secured an early start to the winter tourist season. With the first snowfall greeting the state of Jammu & Kashmir, the onset of an evidently chilly winter has begun. While it makes up for picturesque and scenic views, is it really a thing of beauty?
The term 'global warming' literally indicates the globe warming up, the advent of snowfall remains a strong indicator of it. As compared to the years 2019 and 2020, snowfall came in quite early in Kashmir this year, probably making way for a similar pattern in other hilly areas.
Every year, hilly areas experience heavy snow during winters which halt the daily life of the locals. Owing to last year's aftermath of snow and winter storms caused widespread damages in Kashmir. The Jammu-Srinagar highway, the only viable road that connects Kashmir with the country, reopened after seven days on January 10 this year.
At this, when snowfall knocks earlier, it extends the struggle time for local residents and also catches them off-guard. Apart from all the issues, hope we all are aware that three persons were killed and apple orchards suffered extensive damage due to snowfall.
We all are concerned about climate, local people, travel, tourism, but what about the orchardists who work day and night even during this winter to feed us, to keep the tourists' spirit alive by reaping fruits keeping their lives in danger.
The snowfall and rains, which started late on Friday night, triggered a mudslide that hit a tent set up by nomads in Noorpora in the Tral area of Pulwama district, leaving three persons, including two women dead, and one critically injured, officials said.
The snowfall has caused extensive damage to apple orchards in some areas of the valley, especially in Shopian and Kulgam districts in south Kashmir where most of the horticulture produce was yet to be harvested. A large number of fruit-bearing trees are reported to have suffered damages due to unseasonal snowfall, witnessed in several parts of Kashmir valley. Reportedly 50 percent fruit crop was yet to be harvested in twin districts of Shopian and Kulgam. Without a doubt, there should be an immediate assessment of losses suffered by the orchardists and the government should put their foremost concern into the matter, declining further delays.
(This story was earlier published on Jammu and Kashmir's leading weekly tabloid Jazzbaat24 on 21 November, 2021)
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