Ramban, Jan 17: Higher reaches of Marwah-Warwan in Kishtwar district experienced the first snowfall of the year, 2024 on Wednesday.
Though it was light snowfall it enthused the people as it brought them respite from dry weather, at least in Warwan valley in the mountainous district of Kishtwar of Jammu region.
“A fresh spell of snow was witnessed in Warwan on Wednesday evening also,” a senior police officer informed.
Earlier officials said that high altitude areas of Warwan in Kishtwar district, bordering Anantnag district of Kashmir, received light snowfall during the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday.
However, they said, after a slight improvement in the weather, the snow melted in low-lying areas of Warwan during the day.
“Snowfall at high altitude areas of Warwan was continuous hence snow remained accumulated on the hills,” they added.
A resident of Warwan Gul Mohammad said, “Overnight light snowfall has ended the prolonged dry spell in the Warwan area. The peripheral hilly areas also witnessed snowfall.”
“Chillai Kalan is the period when the chances of snowfall are maximum and frequent here. But this time, the scenario was different. Even though after more than 26 days, finally the light snowfall has occurred, it has brought respite to people from respiratory problems, cough, cold and other seasonal diseases,” he said.
“We are hopeful that the area will receive more snow in the coming days,” he added.
Another local Suleman Magray, a driver by profession, said, “Every year, snowfall would be experienced in Marwah and Warwan, Margan Top and Sinthan Top areas in November-December and it would continue till January to February. However, this season, snowfall occurred in December. It was for a brief period. The delay in snowfall was worrying the locals, especially farmers of all the areas of Jammu and Kashmir.”
High-altitude areas including games resorts and Sanasar, Natha Top also received snowfall besides a few other plain areas of the district, thus breaking the prolonged dry spell.
Sub Divisional Magistrate, Warwan, Mohammad Ashraf confirmed that the high-altitude areas of Warwan received light snowfall.
He said, “All the essential services in the area are intact. Kishtwar-Anantnag road via Sinthan Top, Margantop is open.”
Meanwhile, a police officer said, “Despite the light snowfall that occurred on Tuesday night and Wednesday evening in the Warwan area, the road passing through it (area) is open.”
Officials said that the district administration in Kishtwar was ready to tackle the scenario likely to emerge during and following snowfall.
On the other hand, the absence of snowfall in Kashmir, Patnitop, and Sanasar has disappointed hoteliers, taxi, cab, tour and travel operators.
Around 400 Taxi tour operators operating from Jammu and around 80 hotels and restaurants in Kud, Patnitop, and Sanasar have been affected and incurred losses due to dry weather.
Rajeev Singh, a Hotel Association office bearer, said, “Tourists have deferred their plans to visit the Kashmir valley, Patnitop and Sanasar due to the lack of snowfall during this winter season.”