Srinagar: From breaking ice to fetching food, life for Dal Lake inhabitants have become harder this winter.
Even as the photographs of the frozen Dal Lake with selfie taking tourists and locals are trending on social media, its inhabitants are living in stark contrast.
“Waterways have frozen and people living in the interiors rely on water transport. As a result, life for those dependent on water transport has become very difficult. A lot of people in this area sell vegetables and even reaching the vegetable gardens has become very difficult. Other day-to-day activities too have taken a serious hit,” Nasir Ahmad, a resident of Mir Behri in Dal Lake interiors, told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said the people living in Dal Lake interiors were facing problems even otherwise.
“This winter we received heavy snowfall and snow is still accumulated on the roads. Even otherwise, we face lots of problems. Most of the roads are in a dilapidated condition and bridges too need repairs. Even in the summers, we are left to fend for ourselves,” said Nasir.
Ejaz Kotru, a resident at Ghat Number 15, Dal Lake, said they are used to the difficult life in the winter months.
“Inhabitants of the Dal Lake are tough people. We are used to breaking ice in the morning with boat paddles. This is nothing new for us. People living in regular residential colonies too face problems with snow accumulation on the roads in winter and we face problems when the lake freezes. This happens every winter. InshaAllah, things will be back to normal in 10-15 days with improvement in weather conditions,” Kotru told The Kashmir Monitor.
However, he said at times it was not easy to break the ice with boat paddles in case of a major dip in night temperature.
A government communiqué said it had already deployed Quick Response Teams (QRTs) of Jammu and Kashmir State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and River Police at the Dal Lake.
Besides regular monitoring, the SDRF teams were found breaking the ice frozen on the lake during the past few days.