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Chilla-i-Kalan terror: Demand for bottled water soars as taps refuse to unfreeze in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Demand for mineral water has touched a new high as record dip in temperature has frozen taps and other supply lines across Kashmir.

Despite an increase in minimum temperature by a few notches, Valley residents continue to battle frozen taps.

 

“Usually, we hardly sell two-three 20 liter cans/refills of filtered water per day but during the last few days, the demand has been unprecedented. At least 100 persons daily enquire about the price of the 20 liter can that costs Rs.370. While some buy this filtered water, others buy smaller mineral water bottles. We have already sold all the mineral bottles we had and have asked the stockiest to dispatch more,” said Meraj-ud-din, a salesman at a grocery shop in uptown Rawalpora.

Though the initial cost of the 20-liter filtered water can is Rs. 370, the refill costs Rs. 70.

Muzamil, a housewife, said she was forced to buy mineral water for drinking and preparing tea.

“Our main water pipe is frozen and not even a drop of fresh water is coming inside. Luckily, there is some old water in our tank from where we fetched a few buckets for our bathroom. But, I did not feel like using that water for drinking and cooking, and for the past few days, I have been buying mineral water. I was hoping that the taps would defreeze as the sun is out now but no luck so far,” she said.

Kashmir Trade Association (KTA) president Aijaz Shahdhar said the demand for bottled water at this time of the year had surprised them.

“The shopkeepers by and large usually avoid stocking mineral water in winters but this time we were taken by surprise due to recording-breaking minimum temperature. Otherwise, there is a huge demand for plumbing items these days. There is also a demand for water tanks. While tanks at several households have burst, people are also buying smaller tanks and containers for storing water inside their kitchens and bathrooms,” he said.