Fifteen JCBs not enough to clear 15K lanes across Srinagar: Mayor

Mattu urged Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to find out why the situation on ground was ‘ugly. Photo: Aman Farooq/ GK

Srinagar mayor Junaid Azim Mattu on Thursday said that it was embarrassing to see Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) workers clearing snow with shovels and that only fifteen JCBs and loaders were not adequate enough to clear fifteen thousand lanes across the Srinagar city.

Responding to the complaints about non-clearance of various roads and link roads in the Valley, Mattu said: “It is embarrassing to see the SMC men clearing snow with shovels.”

Addressing a press conference, he said that the response by the Mechanical Engineering Department, SMC and Roads and Building departments could have been much better. “It’s unfortunate that only fifteen JCBS and loaders are clearing fifteen thousand lanes across Srinagar,” he said, as per news agency KNO.

While commending the job of SMC workers, Mattu said: “I have asked for the procurement of twenty five snow clearance machines but for unknown reasons machines were not procured despite having sufficient funds at disposal.”

Mattu urged Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to find out why the situation on ground was ‘ugly’. “I respect LG as he believes in delivering. I will also write him a letter to ascertain why it took too long to clear the roads,” he said.

He said Srinagar is the face of Jammu and Kashmir and that it has been neglected for the last forty years, “…but as long as I am here as a Mayor, I will push for systemic reforms in the SMC,” he said.

“It is a bitter truth that the SMC is ill equipped. A few hammers, shovels and some JCBs are the only things in the SMC’s arsenal. There is a need to go beyond brooms and handcarts,” he said.

“I will push for the procurement of machines yet again and will name and shame those officials who are sitting on the papers for no reasons,” Mattu added.