by Khalid Bashir Gura
SRINAGAR: In a video gone viral, BJPs Mayor of Jammu, Chander Mohan Gupta is seen asserting and predicting that by 2031-32 the city of Jammu will witness the first snowfall and eventually the UT of Jammu and Kashmir will become the Switzerland of the world.
The video has made Gupta instantly famous on social media. “Post 370 abrogation, Jammu Mayor says, Jammu will be getting snowfall soon, Waw!” journalist Bashir Manzar tweeted. “Am planning to sell electric blankets, bukharis and heaters there. And Kangris too.”
It is the afforestation drive in the Jammu city which has made the father of the city optimistic about snowfall in sultry Jammu in the next decade. “There is so much of plantation that we are witnessing frequent rains, and very soon, that day is not far when there will be snowfall in Jammu city also by 2031,” he said in an interview with a Hindi News Channel BNN NEWS. He said it is routinely snowing in Mata Vaishno Devi hills and the Patnitop and soon it will be in Jammu too.
But Mayor’s logic-defying positive assertions bamboozle the science of geography and climatology.
Dean Research, Professor Shakil Ahmad Romshoo of the Department of the Earth Sciences University of Kashmir rebuffed the assertions as according to him there is no research predicting the snowfall in Jammu and on the contrary even Kashmir will be deprived of it given the global climate change.
The Professor of Earth Sciences said that there are studies that predict that there will be a reduction in snowfall in Kashmir.
“I think there is no such possibility. Even by the end of this century, there are research studies that predict that snowfall in Srinagar will be rare,” Romshoo said, adding that during the past decade, Kashmir in itself is witnessing dry harsh winters. “There will be 60 per cent less snowfall by the end of this century in Kashmir, and snowfall in Jammu is out of the question,” said the Earth Science Professor.
Can plantation of trees lead to snowfall? Romshoo said that it does not impact the snowfall as is evident in tropical regions that despite the abundant cover of green gold lack snowfall and have high temperatures.
However, the expert said, that given the global scenario of climate change, there is an impact on Kashmir also as is evident by soaring temperatures and extreme weather. The origin of snowfall in Kashmir is brought by western disturbances which have origins in the Atlantic Ocean. It has nothing to do with the green cover.
Sonam Lotus, Director of the meteorological department Jammu and Kashmir said that there is no scientific study predicting snowfall in Jammu in the next decade or anytime. Countering the claims of Mayor bereft of scientific basis, Lotus said the climate around the world is changing and is getting warmer.
“Because of global warming the temperature is rising and how can there be snow?” he said adding that scientifically it is a wrong assertion.
Creating a Kashmir in Jammu has been an idea on which many people worked in the past. During the last PDP-BJP-coalition, Forest Minister, Choudhary Lal Singh, in his effort to tackle climate change and bring more coolness to hot and humid Jammu, asked Forest Department to plant 40,000 Chinar saplings across Jammu in the summers of 2017. The order was implemented with a bit of success as many saplings did survive the harsh climatic conditions.
But this is for the first time that a “wise” man has set the deadline on weather conditions and predicated a snowfall in Jammu.