Kupwara village still out of bounds as authorities fail to clear snow of roads

People in snowbound Mankal village of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district Friday expressed resentment against the authorities for failing to clear the road to the village of snow, brining hardships for them.

Mankal village, 30 km from the sub-district headquarters Handwara, comprises of 90 households.

Due to snow-covered roads, the residents here are forced to cover a distance of 9 km from Yahama to Mankal on foot.

“Whenever there is moderate to heavy snowfall, our village remains cutoff from rest of the district for weeks together. I don’t know why authorities are biased against us,” said a local, Bashir Ahmad.

In the past, several medical emergencies occurred due to the closure of road, and a day ago, people here had to shoulder a patient on a make-shift cot to reach the nearby health centre.

Irshad Ahmad, a local, said that the sharp curves on the road make the movement of vehicles on the road to the village impossible.

“We, several times, urged the Deputy Commissioner Kupwara to remove the sharp curves on the road but nothing has materialized so far,” he said.

Besides being out of bounds, the residents of Mankal village also suffer due to absence of various basic amenities.

The residents complained that though the area boosts of a health sub-centre, it was of no use.

“Barring a sweeper, no other employee bothers to join duty,” they said.

The residents said that the area was also reeling under acute shortage of drinking water.

“In 2013 a water supply scheme was approved under the Sadbhavna project but was left midway due to reasons unknown,” the Sarpanch of the area said.

Locals said that during the winter, their life becomes hell due to long power cuts.

One of the residents said that whenever there is snowfall, electricity is restored in the village after many days while the situation is no different during the normal days.

The residents complained of weak cellular signal due to which people and students at large suffer.

“We have only access to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited network and due to very weak signal, the phone calls drop every now and then,” said a local teacher.

To overcome the problem, residents demanded access to Airtel and Jio networks in their area.

Meanwhile, Additional District Development Commissioner (ADDC), Kupwara, Muhammad Ashraf told Greater Kashmir that he had taken note of all the woes being faced by the people.

“In the coming days, the district administration is holding a public darbar in Handwara. Representatives from Mankal should come there with a representation. I assure timely redress of their grievances,” he said.