Another Cold Spell Hits Kashmir Amid Mutton Shortage
21 January 2008
Srinagar: With the minimum temperature falling to minus 5.7 degrees Celsius here Monday, the Kashmir valley is in for yet another spell of bone-chilling cold. And the shortage of mutton, the favourite food of Kashmiris, has redoubled their misery. 'The minimum temperature recorded today (Monday) was minus 5.7 degrees Celsius. We have been experiencing cloudless skies during the last seven days now. This causes fall in the temperatures,' said an official of the weather department here. 'Same weather conditions are likely to continue for a few days more,' he said. Reports from the state's hilly areas like Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam said three to five feet of frozen snow were still on the ground there. Most of the water taps in the summer capital Srinagar and other major towns of the valley had frozen and people were seen lighting fires under the pipes to de- freeze them. 'It is a tough time for us. Water taps are frozen. Electricity supply is erratic and there is no mutton in markets,' said Farooq Abbas, 52, a resident of the old city. Mutton is a favourite food of Kashmiris, especially in winter. It is brought from outside the valley. But in the absence of supplies, almost all mutton shops across the valley have been closed for the past one week. Animal rights activists have halted the supplies, protesting against the manner in which the animals are transported, packed hundreds inside each truck without any food or water for weeks.