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Few inches of snow collapses public utility delivery services across Kashmir

A vehicles moves slowly on a snow covered road

Srinagar, Nov 04 : Early snowfall autumn this year collapsed the government under few inches of snow with restoration public utility services particularly power and transport taking a big hit. Reports said as snowing intensified in the afternoon on Saturday the government agencies connected with the delivery of essential services particularly power and transport were found invisible on the ground.

Most of the roads connecting different parts of Srinagar city with the city centre Lal Chowk were incompletely inundated and passenger vehicles were found hurdling with each other while navigating through water lodged roads in Srinagar city. The movement of traffic was badly hit on the roads connecting district headquarters with Srinagar city and the students whose examination ended by 5pm could reach their homes by late evening hours and the examination staff were seen waiting in queues outside Bemina Board Office for dropping answer sheets and collecting question papers till 9pm in the evening.
Most of the aggrieved teachers on conditions of anonymity told KNS that they could reach their homes only by mid-night and wanted the rescheduling of examination timing keeping in view more difficult times ahead of forth coming winter in Kashmir.
Though MeT office had predicted bad weather from November 1 to November 5 almost a month ago but neither the Power Development Department nor the government agencies connected with the delivery of other public utility services were seen in a state of preparedness as smooth flow of power could not be restored even after 24 hours of the power breakdown and power is yet to be restored in hundreds of villages in northern, southern and central Kashmir parts.
The damages caused by snow to apple orchards are very huge as the snow brought the tree branches bending to ground in apple orchards in northern and southern districts of Kashmir valley. The cries of damage assessment and compensation are going lauder and lauder after every passing hour as MLAs including former ministers have demanded immediate assessment of the losses and compensation to the orchardists.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway was partially opened for traffic after remaining closed for more than 12 hours as traffic police authorities allowed one way traffic of light vehicles only from Srinagar to Jammu. A traffic official said landslides triggered by rain at Digdol and Ramsu were cleared and light vehicles were allowed to move to Jammu after clearing the landslides, adding that “we allowed stranded vehicles particularly those carrying passengers to move towards their destinations.” He said traffic movement will be allowed after all the stranded vehicles are cleared. Claiming that about 1300 passengers were rescued to safer places during last twenty fours, the traffic official said “over 1000 civilians were provided food and shelter in Banihal by local police and civil administration. 300 people were taken to Qazigund where they were provided all required assistance.
Meanwhile groups of government employees working in the move offices of the government demanded movement of traffic from Srinagar to Jammu on Monday and relaxation in attendance of their duties at civil secretariat and other move offices in Jammu in Monday as Srinagar-Jammu highway is slippery and the movement of vehicles would be too slow.
The flights from Srinagar airport were also suspended due to poor visibility. An official at Srinagar International Airport said “we can’t say if the flight suspended today can operate tomorrow keeping in view the prevalent weather conditions in Kashmir valley.