Kashmir: Mountains are deserted and deserted without snowfall, what will be the effect? Kashmir: Mountains are deserted and deserted without snowfall, what will be the effect?

Kashmir: Mountains are deserted and deserted without snowfall, what will be the effect?

Kashmir: Mountains are deserted and deserted without snowfall, what will be the effect?

Gulmarg situated in Kashmir valley is famous for its natural beauty. Manzoor Ahmed has been the manager of a resort here for the last 17 years. They have never seen a season without snowfall here.

But this year the situation is different. The mountains which used to be covered with snow and looked white are now deserted and dull.

“This is unprecedented,” says Ahmed, 50. “Tourists have also stopped making hotel reservations.”

Every year in winter, there is snow in Kashmir Valley and tourists from different parts of the country reach Kashmir to see this beauty. Apart from enjoying the scenery, he also goes skiing here. But this time due to lack of snow, the tourism industry of this region has come to its knees.

In January last year, about one lakh tourists had reached Kashmir. But officials say that this year this number has almost halved.

Lack of snowfall will also affect agriculture and water supply because due to this the ground water will not be completely filled.

Environmentalists argue that climate change is impacting this region. Because of this, the weather is changing and extreme events are happening. We are also facing prolonged drought in both winter and summer. According to the Meteorological Department of Jammu and Kashmir, there has been a 79 percent deficit in rainfall in December, while there was a 100 percent deficit in January.

Local businessmen say that their work is being affected due to the absence of tourists.

This time the weather is also a bit hot in the valley. In most of the weather stations of Kashmir, the average temperature has increased by 6-8 degrees this winter.

Hotel owners say that tourists are canceling hotel bookings because they are neither able to enjoy skiing on the mountains nor are they able to enjoy the snow covered mountains.

Aqib Chhaya, president of Gulmarg Hotel Owners Association, says, “More than 40 percent of the bookings in hotels have been canceled and new bookings are not being made right now.”

Raj Kumar, who came to Kashmir for the first time with his family from the western state of Maharashtra for a holiday, said that the weather has left him very disappointed.

He says, “We came here to see snowfall and enjoy the cable car on the ropeway, but we are disappointed. There is no snow in Gulmarg.”

The decline in the number of tourists is affecting the local tourism industry. Most of the people here depend on tourism during winter for their annual income.

Tariq Ahmed Lone, head of the association of mule drivers in Gulmarg, says that about five thousand people are associated with his association and all of them have not been able to earn much during the last three months. Outside tourists enjoy riding mules in the snowy valleys of Gulmarg and this is a popular tourist activity here.

Lone says, “Our livelihood is directly related to snowfall. “A season without snow will bring extremely difficult conditions for our families.”

He says that most of the mule drivers have been involved in this profession for decades and it is not easy for them to find any other source of income.

Gulmarg Skiing Association President Shaukat Ahmed Rather also feels the same.

He says, “I have been working as a ski instructor for the last 27 years. I can't do anything else now.”

Experts believe that due to lack of snow, not only tourism but also hydropower production, fisheries and agriculture will be affected.

Even in Ladakh, the region adjacent to Kashmir, there is no snow this time. Ladakh is also a popular center of tourism.

Environmentalist Sonam Wangchuk says, “Agriculture here is dependent on glaciers. Now glaciers are melting at a fast pace. “Lack of snowfall even at the peak of winter season means that getting water from springs can become a big problem this time.”

Sonal Lotus, head of the weather center in Leh, says that this is the driest season so far in the Himalayan region.

Irfan Rashid, Assistant Professor at Kashmir University, says that the possibility of a drought-like situation cannot be ruled out.

Between December 21 and January 29, this area experiences severe winter for 40 days and there is heavy snowfall. During this period, mountains and glaciers get covered with snow. This also ensures supply of water throughout the year.

However, some experts say that snowfall in this area has been decreasing in the last few years.

Lakhs of rupees can be earned by growing saffron in hot areas in this manner.

Local people making special prayers for snow

Geologist Shakeel Ahmed Romshu says, “Before 1990, we used to see heavy snowfall of more than three feet and this snow would melt till spring. But now we see that winters are also getting warmer.”

Romshu is among those who believe that the Kashmir Valley is facing the effects of climate change.

He says, “Compared to other provinces, our per capita greenhouse gas emissions are very low. The lifestyle of people in Kashmir is very simple. “We are victims of global climate change.”

A study by Romshu and his team has claimed that this region of Kashmir including Ladakh may heat up to destructive levels by the end of the century. The temperature here can increase from 3.98 to 6.93 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, the local people are hoping for a miracle in these dry winters.

The Meteorological Department has not issued any forecast of heavy snowfall before January 24. But Ahmed says he is hopeful that nature will be kind to him and it will snow.



100,000 prisoners deprived of voting rights due to complicated procedures

According to official figures, not a single prisoner could vote in the 2018 elections across the country, while the same is expected in 2024.

I am a citizen of Pakistan . The constitution gives me the right to vote but there is no easy and direct way of elections for prisoners in prisons .'

This was said by Quetta District Jail  inmate Ghulam Sarwar, demanding the Election Commission of Pakistan and the government to implement an easy procedure to give voting rights to imprisoned citizens.

He said that most of the prisoners do not have identity cards. "We also wish the prisoners to exercise their democratic and constitutional right. If the Election Commission provides us such a facility, then 100 percent of the prisoners will cast their votes."

According to the data obtained under the Right to Information from the IGs of the four provinces of Pakistan, there are a little over one lakh prisoners in the country's 100 prisons.

According to Article 51 of the Constitution of Pakistan, a person who is a citizen of Pakistan has the right to vote provided:

His age should not be less than 18 years
His name should be in the electoral roll
He has not been declared mentally retarded by any competent court.
The above eligibility criteria set out in the Constitution do not exclude prisoners from the voting process. According to section 93 (d) of the Election Act, 2017, a person detained or detained in prison can vote by postal ballot.

The Election Act 2017 gives prisoners the right to vote by postal ballot, however, apart from the 2018 elections, prisoners applied to vote in local elections in four provinces, but the official level has not confirmed that a single prisoner cast a vote. did not

Method of casting vote for prisoner

In order to cast his vote, an inmate in a Pakistani jail first requests the presiding officer concerned to send his postal ballot paper to the jail in writing. If a ballot paper is found, the inmate votes under the supervision of the prison authorities, and later the prison authorities send all marked ballot papers of the inmates to the Election Commission.

Completing this simple process requires permission from the Home Department and DI Jails and several other government officials, which is why inmates prefer not to vote rather than undergo such a lengthy process.

The movement of ballot paper between the Election Commission and the inmate is through the mail, which is slow, often resulting in inmate votes arriving late and not being included in the count.

According to Roshan Khan, a prisoner in Huda Jail located in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, if a polling station is established in every jail, the number of prisoners will cast their votes.

Quetta District Jail Assistant Superintendent Abdul Rasool Jatak told Independent Urdu that 'Most of the prisoners express their desire to cast their votes but when we tell them all the process, they do not request.'

According to Chief Public Information Officer Inspector Prisons Punjab Imtiaz Abbas, the number of cast votes of prisoners in the 2018 elections is not available with the Prisons Department, however, no prisoner could cast votes in the elections in Punjab.

Khuzdar Central Jail Superintendent Yasin Baloch told Independent Urdu that he has not yet received any order regarding the February elections.

 According to the sources of Balochistan Prisons Department, in the 2018 elections, about 150 of the 1900 prisoners in the jails of the province had sent applications to the returning officers through the prison authorities to obtain postal ballots, but due to the complicated procedure. No one could get a chance to vote.

Balochistan Election Commission Spokesperson Naeem Ahmad said in a conversation with Independent Urdu that there is a postal ballot law for prisoners and government employees and it is being followed.

However, he suggested that further improvements could be made if the postal ballot system was made easier for prisoners through legislation.
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