CHITRAL, July 24: Rising temperatures and long power outages have led to roaring business of glacial snow in Chitral in the fasting month as hundreds of vehicles transport the commodity from the Lowari Pass to the city and different villages every day.
Long queues of people could also been seen outside hundreds of outlets selling snow.
Talking to this correspondent, Alam Khan, a snow seller on Shahi Masjid Road, said the unemployed youth had found selling snow a good business, earning a handsome amount every day. Mr Khan said that an ice seller returned home with a net profit of Rs700 to Rs1,000 every day.
“Sometimes snow sellers find it difficult to meet the increasing demand when the loadshedding duration extends to longer periods,” he said. Mr Khan said that ice sellers prayed to Almighty not to send rains as it would affect their businesses.
Said Zada, a buyer of the commodity, said that they had to rely on glacial snow for domestic use as their refrigerators often remained non-functional due to either loadshedding or low voltage. “We cannot quench our thirst after Iftar without consuming the water cooled with the Lowari snow,” he said, adding that he purchased a block of glacial ice every day costing Rs50.
Transportation of snow from the Lowari Pass is a cumbersome job as a driver has to leave the city soon after Iftari and spend the whole night at Lowari, pressing snow into cubes, loading it onto the lorry and setting out for the journey back to the city before the sun set.
Hakim Khan, who transports snow on daily basis, said that the commodity was consumed not only in the city but also in the roadside villages from Lowari to Barenis and Shaghur on Garam Chashma side.
“Like other drivers, I reach the Chitral town just before afternoon and sell my load to two retailers,” he said, adding that the business would, however, slow down after Ramazan. Meanwhile, the consumption of the natural snow is believed to have a pleasant affect on the human health as compared to the artificial ice.
A number of people said regular consumption of glacial snow cured many ailments of stomach.–Zahiruddin