Srinagar: People in remote Kashmir villages struggle severely due to acute power, water and fuel shortage as temperatures plummet below zero degree Celsius. A distraught Mohammad Khaliq and his wife take stock of the massive destruction a fire has caused in their village in south Kashmir in which scores of houses were gutted at a time when freezing temperatures have made life miserable.
Khaliq said, "This is left of our houses. I had stocked food, clothes for winters. I earn to spend in winters to battle cold. But the fire accident has let me down."
With little help coming from the authorities, the villagers have taken refuge in whatever they could find. Some families find shelter in government buildings. Snow on the hills has brought down temperatures to minus 3 degrees in Srinagar. In far flung areas, it has touched a low of minus 13.
Residents are struggling with irregular power, drinking and now domestic gas supplies. What is worse, as the cold sets in, the price of essential items spirals up. Fighting winters is going to get more daunting in the coming weeks as the freeze overwhelms even power, drinking water and fuel supplies.