Fields Dry Up in Kashmir after Low Snowfall, Poor Rain
Locals say deforestation around Wulur lake has made it worse
People around the globe rely on rivers fed by mountain glaciers, but with the rising temperature and declining snowfall the glaciers draped on mountains are receding fast and many have already dried up, due to which many villages are facing a serious water crisis in Kashmir and elsewhere in the Himalayan region.
Some have already been abandoned by their residents, while many villagers suffer for water for drinking and other uses in life especially agriculture.
People who are in touch with agricuture, horticulture and related work are facing a lot of problems in parts of Kashmir due to reduced snowfall. The resulting water disaster in northern Kashmir has been anticipated by Indian water specialists. As the fields dry up experts suggest that people cultivate maize or other crops as this year the water crisis has hit northern parts of the valley.
The Wulur lake in the Bandipora district of Kashmir is well known for being one of the largest freshwater bodies in Asia, where alleged conservation measures taken by government officials have ended in millions of trees being cut and killed, accelerating international warming which experts say contributes to less snowfall each closing year.
People here are in distress and worried about the low snowfall and uneven rain that results in the loss of many crops and natural diversities. They say the alleged conservation measures taken by the Wular Conservation Management Authority (WUCUMA) have made it worse.
Farmers who planted paddy in their fields are in shock as now the paddy fields have dried up due to scarcity of water. There is also early melting of glaciers this year on the Himalayas due to heat. Recently Srinagar recorded a temperature of 32 degrees which was the hottest day of the season this year.
The adminstration of Baramulla this year passed an advisory to farmers in which they stated that other crops like maize should be planted by farmers as this year there is a lower share of water available for farming purposes.
Despite frequent rains, J&K recorded 84% deficient rainfall in the first weeks of June and Srinagar was no more the coolest place among cities of the country, witnessing above normal temperatures since March.
Data prepared by the meteorological department reveal that Kupwara recorded 99% deficient rainfall in early June, while Ramban, Pulwama, Srinagar and Bandipora districts recorded 98% deficient rainfall in the same period.
Department officials said that the temperature in Srinagar settled above 30 degrees several times this month.
Paddy fields in Bandipora dried up due to water scarcity
Farmers in Bandipora till their paddy field after planting paddy due to scarcity of water
Dredging going on in the Wulur lake, Bandipora
Dried up paddy field in Bandipora
Cover photo: Dried up portion of Wulur lake in Bandipora