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Admin caught napping: Snow throws life out of gear in Kashmir

Srinagar, Jan 14: For the second day, life was thrown out of gear in Kashmir with many areas remaining cut-off due to the snow, on Tuesday.

Electricity and water supply system has been badly affected as authorities failed to restore the essential services particularly in the countryside and far-flung areas of the valley.


Weather in Kashmir improved on Tuesday as bright sun appeared after two days of snowfall.   However, it brought no relief to the people as snow clearance work is yet to take off in many areas of north, central and south Kashmir parts.

People preferred to stay indoors in many areas of Baramulla, Kupwara, and Handwara as heavy snow has blocked all roads and alleys.

Residents of Kupwara said dozens of villages were cut-off as the administration didn’t clear the snow from the roads. Villages connecting Kupwara town to Chowikbal and Lolab are currently inaccessible as administration has not cleared the snow from the roads.

“There is around five feet snow in Kupwara district. Villages including Trehgam, Kralpora, Panzgam, Krusan, and Hyhama are completely cut-off from the town.  Though some JCBs were pressed into service, yet all the efforts of administration did not yield results,” said Firdous Ahmad a resident of Kupwara.

Similarly the situation in Baramulla district is no different where roads in are blocked since Monday.

Mohammad Shafi a resident of Nihalpora in Pattan block said authorities haven’t cleared the snow from the important road connecting national highway.

“People are suffering without water and electricity. People can’t move out of their homes to buy essentials because of heavy snow accumulation on the roads,” he said.

Many areas including Safa Kadal, Saraf Kadal, Bohri Kadal, MA road, Hari Singh High Street and Hazoori Bagh were waterlogged as snow started melting on Tuesday.

“We are using salt so that snow melts quickly. Further the areas where streets are blocked are also being cleared by our men,” one of the officials said.

In Central Kashmir’ Budgam and Ganderbal districts, people complained of power outages and water scarcity. “We are without water supply for the last two days now. No clearance work has begun in these villages and people are suffering immensely,” Iqbal Ahmad a resident of Shopian said.

Meanwhile, National Highway remained blocked for traffic on third consecutive day.

An official of the Traffic Control Room said traffic was suspended from both the sides of the highway due to the fresh snowfall and rains in Qazigund area.

“The condition of road is very slippery due to the fresh snowfall at Qazigund,” he said.

 Another official from the Traffic Control Room Ramban informed that around 452 vehicles are stranded between Ramban to Udhampur.

“Currently the road is being cleared at Digdol, Monkey Mode, Iron stand where landslides occurred yesterday. We are hoping that the traffic will resume tomorrow,” he said.

 Flight operation on Srinagar Airport was hit in the morning due to the slippery condition on the runway. “Flight operations resumed in the afternoon,” an official said.

The Meteorological Department has predicted light to moderate rains and snowfall in Kashmir for the next 24 hours. Qazigund and Pahalgam in south Kashmir received 9.4mm and 10.6mm rainfall on Tuesday. Banihal and Batote in Jammu division recorded 8.0 and 8.8 mm rainfall respectively.

Gulmarg till Monday night recorded 68.8 centimeters of snowfall. Kupwara, Pahalgam and Srinagar recorded 50, 40.5 and 3.3 centimeters of snowfall respectively. Pahalgam resort was the coldest place with temperature plummeting to minus 9.5 degrees Celsius, followed by Gulmarg skiing resort in north Kashmir at minus 7.6 degrees Celsius.