(Early snowfall surprises all in Srinagar)
Photographs: Umar Ganie
Early snowfall, season's first, in Srinagar has come as a surprise to all the residents. Season's first snowfall has taken the people of Kashmir by surprise, throwing life out of gear and putting a lot of pressure on the election machinery, which will have to toil harder to put the logistics required for the assembly polls in place. Shops were closed and both private and public transport remained off the roads. All the state government offices, banks, educational institutions were closed in Srinagar and other towns.
The surprise of early snowfall is written on everybody's face as the people were not yet prepared to face the snow and the chill. The temperature dropped by 10 degrees in a span of 24 hours, cooling the entire valley. The rush for Kangris (fire Pots), warm clothing, kerosene stoves, gas heaters has gone up sharply. Because of Friday's heavy snowfall, the poll arrangements have come under heavy strain.
With polling to take place in Jammu and Kashmir from Nov. 17 to Dec. 24, the early snowfall has come as a major hurdle for the election process as well. The administration will have to press helicopters into service to airlift poll parties and material by Saturday, 15th Nov-2008.
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