Electricity, water supply affected in South Kashmir

A woman cooking rice in Buntun (aluminium vessel) in Srinagar. Photo: Mubashir Khan/ GK

The heavy snowfall has thrown life out of gear in south Kashmir with the majority of the areas remaining cut off from the district headquarters for the second consecutive day on Monday.

In Anantnag, the movement of traffic remained disrupted even on the main roads like Khanabal-Pahalgam, Bijbehara-Pahalgam, Anantnag-Kokernag, Anantnag-Shangus, Anantnag-Dooru and Qazigund-Verinag roads.

“The snow clearance machines arrived in the morning and cleared snow in patches, people found it difficult to drive their vehicles,” said a local resident, Muhammad Adil of Kokernag.

He said the patients had a difficult time reaching the hospitals.

The officials, however, claimed they have cleared all main roads and were now pressing the men and machinery towards the link roads.

The villages in the entire district are cut off and with forecast of more snowfall the situation might turn further grim.

“We are completely cut off with no road connectivity, no electricity, and not even water supply,” said Syed Ishtiaq of Kapran wherein it has snowed around 3 feet.

He said with no health facility they are left at the mercy of God.

The power supply remained affected in Anantnag district for the second running day.

“It had just begun snowing when the electricity was snapped in our area. It has been more than 36 hours now and we only got to see the power for barely 30 minutes that too in intervals,” said Wasim Ahmad of Iqbal Market.

He said usually the town gets surplus power during snowfall, as electricity is snapped in rural areas but this time it was not so.

If this is the power scenario of the main town imagine that of far-flung areas where it has snowed heavily and the infrastructure is damaged,” Ahmad said.

Many locals said the patients who were bedridden at home and needed oxygen concentrators or cylinders were struggling to breathe for want of electricity.

“My father’s saturation level is very low and we are unable to provide him uninterrupted oxygen supply as there is no electricity for the last three days,” said a youth from the old town.

Meanwhile, several roads in Kulgam district also remained blocked due to snow.

Several areas of the district which witnessed around 3 feet of snowfall, DH Pora, DK Marg and Kund remained cut off.

The power supply, locals say, was restored in towns, but remained affected in rural areas.

Shopian, Pulwama:

Life remained crippled in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Pulwama districts for the second straight day on Monday due to heavy snowfall.

The snowfall, which began late on Saturday night caused disruption in utility services and road connectivity across both the districts. Two persons manning a JCB were injured after the machine overturned in a village in Shopian.

Although the electricity was restored in Shopian town on Sunday, dozens of villages including Handew, Manhial, Wadipoara and Chotipra have been reeling under darkness since Saturday.

Irshad Hussain Choudary, Executive Engineer PDD told the Greater Kashmir that around 80 percent of power supply had been restored in the district.

Many residents in main town Shopian complained of interrupted water supply in their localities.

“The already poor water supply in our locality remained adversely affected since Saturday,” said a resident.

Assistant Executive Engineer, R&B (Mechanical Division Pulwama, Shopian) said that snow from around 80 percent of the priority roads with a road length of 285 kms was removed.

He said that the snow clearing process was going on.

The official said that low-lying areas of the district received 2 feet of snowfall while the upper reaches like Heerpora, Sedow, Kellar received 3 feet snowfall.

The high altitude Peer Ki Gali along the historic Mughal Road experienced 5 to 6 feet snowfall.

Another official said that two persons were injured when they were clearing a snow-clogged road in Awneera village with a JCB.

“The JCB suddenly turned turtle causing injuries to Arshad Ahmad and Gayas Ahmad”, said the official.

He said that they were shifted to a nearby medical facility for treatment.

In Pulwama district, the snowfall has plunged many villages including Sangarwani, Wahibugh, Loswani and Zadoora into darkness.

Aijaz Ahmad Gorsi, a resident of outlying Sangarwani village said that the area had been without electricity and water supply since Saturday.

A local resident of Achgooza vilage complained that snow had not been removed completely from the roads in the area.

“A snow plough cleared the snow from the road, but it did not make it motorable”, he added.

An official at Pulwama said that the snow had been cleared from all priority roads with a road length of around 318 kms.