SRINAGAR: Light rain-lashed Kashmir on Wednesday morning breaking an unprecedented, nearly four-month-long dry spell as people got relief from the fortnight-long scorching heat.

People woke up in the morning on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 to witness light rain across Kashmir as farmers heaved a sigh of relief since the scarcity of water has adversely affected both rain-fed and irrigated maize and paddy crops in the valley. KL Image by Tahir Bhat

On Monday, the maximum temperature was 35.7 degrees Celsius in Srinagar which was the hottest recorded in August since 1980.

North Kashmir’s Kupwara town had recorded 36.7 degrees Celsius on Monday, again breaking the 39-year record for the month of August.

Almost all the maize crop grown in the hills and ‘Karewas’ of Kashmir is dependent on rainwater.

The unprecedented dry spell has devastated the prospects of a good maize crop in the Valley this year.

The perennial mountain water reservoirs that feed rivers, streams, springs, wells and lakes of Kashmir have already started depleting thereby adversely affecting the discharge in the local rivers and streams.

Paddy fields have to be continuously irrigated since the plant is semi-aquatic in nature.

Farmers across Kashmir are fearing very low yields this autumn because of the scarcity of irrigation during the summer months.

A view of river Jhelum as Kashmir receives light rainfall on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Although the weather office has not forecast any major rainfall in Kashmir during the next fortnight, it has forecast occasional light showers accompanied by thunder in isolated places during this period.

“The maximum temperature is definitely going to come down in the coming days”, said an official of the Meteorological Office. (IANS)


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