Frozen Dal refreshes memories

As the sub-zero record-breaking temperature on Wednesday night led to the partial freezing of the Dal Lake, it has also refreshed several memories of the past. While the frozen parts of Dal are attracting people including visitors to roam around on the surface of the lake, many others took to social media remembering the famous incident when the then prime minister of J&K Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad drove a jeep on the frozen waters of the lake. It is believed that when Dal Lake froze completely and remained frozen for more than 30 days, the frozen crust was more than 3 feet in depth making it a solid surface that could hold the weight of a moving jeep that Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad drove over it.

Several years later, partial freezing of the Dal Lake is attracting people to walk on the surface of the frozen lake and children to play cricket. This has also made the social media abuzz with pictures of people including visitors walking and playing on the frozen surface of the lake.

Meanwhile, authorities have issued an advisory asking people not to roam around on the frozen waters of the lake. The Srinagar District Administration in an advisory asked people not to walk or play on the frozen parts of the Dal Lake saying it can be “dangerous”. “We have clearly asked the people not to venture out on the frozen parts of Dal Lake as there is melting of the frozen parts happening. This can be dangerous. We have deployed quick reaction teams at the lake,” said Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.

Authorities have deployed State Disaster Rescue Force (SDRF) personnel in the Dal Lake, to prevent people from walking on the frozen surface of the water body. “Due to freezing temperatures, many water bodies in the valley, including the world famous Dal Lake have frozen. It has been observed that some people, particularly youth and children attempt to walk on the frozen water bodies,” Aamir Ali, Nodal Officer of the State Emergency Operation Centre, Srinagar said. Ali said that moving on this thin layer of ice, particularly the Dal Lake, is “very risky and can result in slips, falls, fractures and fatal injuries”. “When the thickness of ice is less than four inches, it is very unsafe to walk, or play and the ice can break resulting in drowning. There are many springs inside the Dal Lake and the ice is very thin at these spots and it’s difficult to spot these locations while walking or playing on the ice surface,” Ali said.