The heavy snowfall paralyzed normal life in southern Kashmir on Sunday with the majority of the areas remaining cut off from the district headquarters.
“It has been snowing heavily in Kulgam district since last night with upper areas Aharbal, DK- Marg, DH Pora Kund receiving as much as 36-inch snowfall till evening,” Deputy commissioner Kulgam, Showkat Ajaz told Greater Kashmir..
He said even low lying areas of Kulgam, have received around 20-inch snowfall till now. “We have pressed into service around 14 snow-cutters machines and have cleared main arterial roads,” the DC said. He, however, said due to continuous snowfall they were facing problems in clearing roads.
However, the roads connecting several villages to district headquarters remained closed due to the accumulation of snow. “The patients who need to be taken to hospital are suffering as the roads remain blocked,” said Khurshid Ahmad of DH Pora.
The DC said that for now the power supply hasn’t been affected as much. “Out of 49 KV feeders in the district, 44 are still charged,” he said.
The DC said even the water supply and lift irrigation schemes have a power supply functional.
Locals, in upper areas, say the power supply has been affected due to damage to electric poles and transformers.
In Anantnag district, an official said it has snowed heavily in upper areas; with Kokernag, Daksum, Verinag , Kapran, Pahalgam, Qazigund and Lower Munda receiving as much as 30 inch snowfall till evening.”
In high altitude areas of Sinthan Top and Warwan along Kokernag-Kishtiwar and Kokernag-Marwa road around 6 feet of snow has accumulated.
“Even Anantnag town and areas around it has received 15-inch snowfall so far,” he said
He said men and machinery have been pressed into service to clear the main roads. The roads connecting several villages to district headquarters are cut off.
“We have to ferry patients on Cherpoys, trolleys or on our backs to nearest hospitals,” said Shakeel Ahmad of Sondbari village of Kokernag. The electric supply has been severely hit and the entire district is reeling under darkness.
“It was yet to snow, last night when the power supply was snapped in our town,” said Muneeb Ahmad of old town locality of Kadipora.
He said if it is the condition of the main towns the position in far-flung areas can only be imagined.
People in twin districts of South Kashmir’s Shopian and Pulwama district woke up to a milk-white morning on Sunday.
The snowfall, which started late on Saturday night crippled the normal in both the districts.
While the higher reaches of Shopian district like Sedow, Devpora and Hirpora received 3 feet deep snow, the low-lying areas experienced up to 1 foot of snow.
An official said that high altitude Peer Ki Gali along the historic Mughal road received 4 to 5 feet deep snowfall.
The snowfall has adversely affected the traffic on all roads of the district while causing disruptions in the power and water supply. Many villages like Pargachosi, Trenz, Pehlipora and Losedanow plunged into sheer darkness following the snowfall.
“Our area has been reeling under darkness since Saturday night,” said Sayyar Ahmad, a resident of Losedanow village.
Residents of Nakahsi Mohalla (Dal) in Shopian town told Greater Kashmir that the water supply remained badly affected in the locality. According to Fayaz Ahmad, Assistant Executive Engineer R& B Mechanical Division, Pulwama and Shopian as many as 18 snow clearing machines, nine each in Shopian and Pulwama were pressed into service to remove the snow-clogged roads.
“All inter-district roads in both the districts have been cleared. Now we are trying to clear the link roads”, Ahmad said.
According to the official, the low-lying areas of Pulwama recorded 6 inches of snow while the upper reaches like Sangawani, Achagoze, Abhama and Fatlipora experienced 10 to 12 inches of snowfall. People in both the district could be seen shovelling the sidewalks and alleyways throughout the day.