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Updated January 15th, 2024 at 15:18 IST

Will Khelo India Winter Games in Kashmir be a Victim of 'Global-Warming'?

The situation is now posing a substantial challenge for daily life in Kashmir, with citizens expressing concern about the potential long-term implications.

Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil
Jammu and Kashmir's Gulmarg is immensely popular particularly for its snow clad slopes and frozen lakes, adding to the frosty beauty of the scenic location.
Jammu and Kashmir's Gulmarg is immensely popular particularly for its snow clad slopes and frozen lakes, adding to the frosty beauty of the scenic location. | Image:Republic
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Srinagar: Gulmarg, known for its snowy charm and a haven for skiers, now wears a barren look with only sporadic patches of snow. The anticipation of a bustling January, with tourists who had pre-booked stays and skiing slots, has turned into disappointment.

Hoteliers and individuals involved in skiing and other tourism-related activities find themselves in deep shock as cancellations mount. "Our business relies on the excitement that snow brings. With the current conditions, it's challenging not just for hotels but for every small business in Gulmarg. We're all in this together, hoping for a turnaround," said Ali Mohammad,  a local ski rental shop owner at Tangmarg.

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"It's disheartening to cancel my skiing plans. Gulmarg, without its snow, is like a canvas without colors. It loses its charm," Raj Deep, a skier from Delhi.

The impact extends beyond the tourism sector, reaching critical levels for the region's water bodies. Rivers, including the Jhelum, are experiencing unprecedented low water levels.

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Tributaries such as Vishow Nallah at Khudwani, Rambiyara Nallah at Wachi, Lidder Nallah at Batkoot, Doodhganga Nallah at Barzulla and Sindh Nallah Doderhama are running alarmingly low.

The consequences of  water crisis are severe, with power generation taking a hit.

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Unscheduled power cuts have become the norm, affecting residents across the region and exacerbating the situation in rural areas.

"Power cuts have become unbearable. The dry spell impacting water levels, and subsequently power generation, is making life difficult, especially in rural areas where the power supply is already precarious," said Babbar Naik, a local.

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The situation is now posing a substantial challenge for daily life in Kashmir, with citizens expressing concern about the potential long-term implications of the dwindling water levels.

The planned 'Khelo India' event at Gulmarg is now under scrutiny, raising questions about the feasibility of hosting it without the essential snowfall.

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The government's preparations for the event hang in the balance as officials grapple with the unexpected weather conditions.

"We are closely monitoring the situation and exploring options to ensure a successful and enjoyable event for participants and spectators alike," said an official.

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Published January 15th, 2024 at 11:13 IST

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