The people in Srinagar offered special prayers, known as ‘Istisqa, at the city’s Grand Mosque ‘ seeking relief from a prolonged dry spell and unusually high temperatures.
The prayers were held following the regular Friday prayers. Attendees, numbering in the hundreds, gathered to pray for an end to the adverse weather conditions affecting the region.
The Auqaf spokesman highlighted the impact of the dry spell, stating that it has taken a toll on agriculture, horticulture, and caused severe hardship and suffering in the area. Also, the winter tourist season is being adversely affected by the absence of snow, as evident in viral images of Gulmarg with no snow cover. The dry conditions have led to cancellations of tourist bookings to popular destinations like Sonamarg.
Official figures reveal a significant decline in snowfall during November and December, with only 23 centimeters recorded in 2023 compared to 134.6 cm in 2022 and 50.6 cm in 2021.
Srinagar, the winter capital, has not seen any snowfall in the past three months, with day temperatures well above normal.
The economic impact is substantial, as Kashmir’s economy relies heavily on healthy spells of snowfall, crucial for supporting horticulture and agriculture.
The snowfall in the upper reaches of Shamsbari, Pir Panjal, and Greater Himalayan ranges plays a vital role in feeding the main rivers in the region. The community hopes that their prayers will bring relief and contribute to a positive change in the weather conditions.