GILGIT: A cold wave has gripped Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) following heavy snowfall in upper parts of the region, inconveniencing a large number of residents.
HunzaNews, December 25th, 2014.
The snowfall began last Tuesday and has continued for over a week now. Temperatures have plummeted by 10 degrees Celsius as a result. Moreover, traffic to Gultari, Astore, Diamer, Ghizer and other valleys in the region has been suspended as these areas are completely blanketed by snow.
“Throughout this week, we have faced multiple problems due to heavy snow,” Masroor Khan, a resident of Astore, told The Express Tribune on Wednesday. “While the sudden change of weather isn’t unusual, the intensity of the cold has increased, especially in valleys such as Gultari and Rattu.”
Meanwhile, in Gilgit, overcast weather and heavy snowfall has forced people to remain indoors. According to the meteorological department, temperature in Gilgit has dropped to -6 degrees Celsius whereas temperature in Skardu has plummeted to -8 degrees.
Power outages have compounded the misery of people, affecting routine life in Gilgit city, the headquarters of G-B. Electricity supply is suspended for 20 hours every day since snowfall began. The outages have affected businesses and slowed down work at government and private offices.
A large number of residents have been forced to take to the streets over frequent power outages. The road between Gilgit and Ghizer was blocked by a group of protesters on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Residents believe electricity is being supplied to VIPs through special lines, resulting in a severe energy crisis across the region. However, these allegations could not been confirmed. Furthermore, they believe millions of rupees have been embezzled from them in the past on the pretext of repairing and maintaining the existing power transmission system.