Environmentalists Worried Over Global Warming Affecting Kashmir Climate
25 December 2009
Times of India
: Environmentalists have expressed concern over Chilai Kalan, the 70-day-long coldest period of winter, losing its chill due to global warming. During Chilai Kalan the Kashmir Valley used to receive heavy snowfall. The snow graph is however, decreasing for the last decade and experts are concerned for the environment of the state. 'There used to be maximum snowfall here during the 'Chilai Kilan.'Earlier, snow would freeze to ground for a period of 40 days. Previously, snowfall December would remain till the end of January, as temperatures were very low,' said Geography Professor Shakeel Romsho. 'But now, it is not so. It was very important from the hydrological, environment and economic point of view. It is very important for the state,' he added. He also feels that the quantity of snowfall has decreased from several feet to inches not only in Srinagar, but also in other hill towns such as Gulmarg and Sonmarg, which used to witness more than seven to eight feet of snow during Chilai Kalan. Locals residents also feel the same. 'During the period of Chilai Kalan, there used to be knee-deep snow here. But now, snowfall is less. Even if it snows here, it dries up after two or three days. This in turn has a bad effect on us,' said Ishfaq. The freezing of taps and water bodies, icy roads turning slippery and formation of icicles are some of the features of this period. This is on the decline. Experts believe if the situation continues there will be water scarcity in the valley.