|Dal Lake freezes, restrict tourists to roam in famed water body|
|Officials warning against walking on icy lake|
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Jan 14: The cold wave in the valley continued with Srinagar recording the coldest night in at least three decades while Dal Lake has frozen, restricting the tourists to roam in the famed water body.
Srinagar on Thursday recorded a low of minus 8.4 degrees celsius, which was the coldest temperature in the region in the city in 30 year.
Back in 1995, Srinagar had recorded minus 8.3 degrees celsius. In 1991, the temperature fell to minus 11.3 degrees celsius. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Srinagar was minus 14.4 degrees celsius in 1893.
While the mercury is witnessing a free-fall, a thin film of frost appears on the road, with motorists avoiding to venture out.
The Dal Lake has frozen several times in the past during chilly winters. This year, it has restricted the tourists to roam in the Dal Lake. However, the tourists who have walked on the frozen lake said walking on the frozen lake were their happiest moments. "I walked 10 to 20 steps on the frozen lake today and was a great experience," Rajat Gupta, a tourist from Kolkatta, who had come to the Valley with his family said.
"Due to the frozen lake, we are not able to row boats. But the tourists are enjoying to walk on the frozen water," said Ghulam Mohammad, a local Shikarawala.
However, Mohammad said many tourists feel disappointed after not taking a Shikara ride due to frozen lake.
Meanwhile, District Magistrate Shahid Choudhary has issued an advisory to dissuade people from walking, playing, or moving on frozen Dal Lake as it is unsafe, dangerous, and potentially life-threatening. Action will be initiated against anyone trying to violate these instructions, he said.
Quick Response Teams (QRTs) of Jammu and Kashmir SDRF and River Police have been deployed in Dal Lake as a precautionary measure. The SDRF teams are breaking the ice frozen on the lake as those on houseboats couldn't cut the ice and reach the banks. While 'Chillai-Kalan' - which began on December 21 -- will end on January 31, the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day-long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).