Kashmir’s harshest winter period ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ begins

December 21 marks the beginning of Chilla Kalan, the 40 day period of the harshest cold. The night temperature in the Valley has plunged below freezing point at over minus 6 degree celsius and now it is likely to plunge further.

The Valley is currently in the grip of severe cold wave, aggravated by the lack precipitation. According to the meteorological department dry weather in Jammu and Kashmir will likely continue till December 24.

The department has predicted the possibility of rains or light snowfall in some parts of Kashmir around Christmas.

The region’s Power Distribution Corporation announced a 31-hour to 56-hour per week power curtailment schedule.  This has further reduced the electric supply. People across the Valley are complaining of longer and unscheduled power cuts.

The power department has already hiked monthly power bills by 8 to 22 percent.

The demand right now in Kashmir is over 1900 MW and it is expected to peak beyond 2000 MW in January. But the supply is only 1600-1700 MW, a majority of which is brought from the central pool.

The local production has dwindled to just 150 MW due to the reduction in the water level in river Jhelum.