Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir`s summer capital Srinagar shivered through the night on Thursday as the mercury slid to minus 2.2 degrees Celsius, making it the coldest night of the season so far, the Met Office said.
"The minimum temperature was minus 2.2 degrees Celsius in Srinagar today (Thursday) making it the coldest night of the season so far," said RK Pandita, assistant director of the local weather office here.
Pandita also said the minimum temperature recorded on Thursday morning in Leh town of Ladakh region was minus 13.2 degrees Celsius and in the Kargil town was minus 10 degrees Celsius.
"Basically because the night skies have been clear in the valley and the Ladakh region for the last few days, temperatures have seen a downslide," the official told a news agency.
"The temperatures usually rise during cloudy nights and the probable arrival of the western disturbance in north India could increase the temperatures here. As of now, we have cold, dry weather here," Pandita said.
Locals have already started wearing the `Pheren` (tweed over garment), their most trusted defence against the harsh winters of the valley.
With the water levels going down in all the local rivers, the generation of electricity has already taken a beating here as all the electric power generating units in Jammu and Kashmir are hydro-based.
"Electricity has become the permanent heartburn for us despite claims of more hydro-electric power stations being constructed in the state," said Bashir Ahmad, 58, who recently retired from government service here.
A senior official of the electricity department, however, said: "Despite importing power from the country`s northern grid each winter, we suffer electric failures because consumers misuse the facility and also ignore paying their monthly electricity bills."
Interestingly, the state government has decided to keep the educational institutions in the valley open during the winter months to ensure that syllabi left unfinished for 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th classes are completed.
"This has become necessary because the syllabi for these classes could not be completed because of the unrest in the valley," an official of the state educational department said here.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has been requested to sanction Rs 9 crore so that heating facilities are made available at the educational institutions during the winter.