Kupwara, Baramulla upper reaches still cut-off

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Even as most of the roads in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district have been cleared of the snow, Karnah, Machil, Jumgund, Budnamal and Keran areas are still cut off leaving passengers stranded in these areas.

At least seven patients from Karnah were airlifted on Friday evening in an army chopper to Srinagar. The patients who needed advanced treatment were stuck due to closure of Kupwara-Karnah highway.

Several aspirants from Karnah and Tanghdar who have to appear in J&K Bank Associate exams on 9 January in Srinagar told Greater Kashmir that they approached local administration to airlift them but to no avail.

Many people from Machil said that due to heavy snowfall in the area, the normal life has come to standstill and “no one from the administration came to our rescue”.

“Because of more than five feet deep snowfall in Machil area people are unable to move outside as the roads are still covered with the snow,” Sarpanch of Machil, Habibullah said.

He said that last year on 19 August, a power station was inaugurated by district administration Kupwara here to deal with the power crisis in Machil sector, which comprises nine panchayats. “Due to unknown reasons the power station supplied electricity to only two villages, Machil and Dudi, for one and a half months. Later, these two villages were also deprived of the electricity,” he said.

“We presently get 2-hour electricity from a genset which in by no means sufficient,” Habibullah said.

The people of Budnamal said that the snow has not been cleared from the road leading to Kupwara due to which people are facing severe hardships.

They said that around six patients who need to visit Kupwara or Srinagar for treatment, are stuck there due to closure of the road. “We urge the authorities that these patients be airlifted to prevent human loss,” they said.

Uri areas disconnected

Many Uri areas in north Kashmir’s Baramulla continue to remain disconnected with the district headquarters following the recent snowfall four days ago.

Over 15 structures, scores of electric poles and transformers had suffered massive damage due to the snowfall in the upper reaches of Uri.

“Four days on, the damaged electric poles and transformers are lying unattended,” Kamal-u-Din of Nambla, Uri said.

Uri area and several other villages including Nambla, Gawalta, Gohalan, Sukdar, Churanda, Batgra, Hatlanga, Mothal, Zamorpattan, Lachipora, Bimyar, Morgan, Limber, Babagale, Badrali, Dudran and Chotali were worst affected by the snowfall.

The locals said that the authorities have failed to restore the road connectivity in these areas. “The life here has been a hell for the last four days,” they said.

They said in the absence of road connectivity the patients are the worst sufferers.  “Road connectivity is a major issue. People are facing worst hardships. We are unable to get essential items,” said Farooq Ahmad of Sukdar, Uri.

“For last two days, I am waiting for restoration of the road. I am a diabetic patient and am running short of medicine. The authorities need to restore the connectivity so that hardships of common people get eased,” Bashir Ahmad of Churanda village said.

The locals while appealing to the authorities for the immediate restoration of the road said most of the villages in the upper belt of Uri are located close to the line of control. They said in case there is some emergency like ceasefire violation, the locals will have to face the brunt of shelling silently.

“The entire area here is venerable. If there is any skirmish between the armies of two neighbouring countries— India and Pakistan, we will suffer,” said Dr Sajad, a political and social worker from Uri, while urging the authorities to restore the roads on war-footing.