Authorities sit over snow clearance from footpaths, lanes

Failure of authorities to remove snow from footpaths and lanes in various areas of the summer capital poses risk to commuters

Authorities have failed to clear snow from footpaths in Srinagar’s commercial hub Lal Chowk, Press Enclave, Residency Road, Polo View, MA Road, Dalgate, Sonwar besides several areas in Downtown.

“If this is the situation in city centre, one can imagine worst scenario in other areas of the city,” Mushtaq Ahmad a pedestrian pointing towards snow mounds on a footpath at Residency Road.

“We have been calling all official helpline numbers asking authorities to clear the snow from footpaths and interior roads. But our pleas have fallen on deaf ears,” said Irfan Sultan of Rainawari.

He added that for past four days, the locals have been appealing Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to clear snow from the Kalwal Mohalla interior road.

“This is very vital interior road, connecting large number of interior localities of Rainawari with main road. Many patients had to be ferried on shoulders upto main road to give them passage to hospitals for medical treatments,” he said.

Locals of Mirabad Batamaloo locality here also complained that snow has been not been removed from footpaths lanes there. “It is ironical that SMC authorities failed to remove snow from our lane. We are unable to venture out of our homes due to accumulated snow,” said Bilal Ahmad, a local. 

A caller from Kralkhud Habba Kadal identifying himself as Ishfaq Gilkar said around six persons slipped over accumulated snow and received minor injuries on Sunday.

“We have not allowed children to go outside for tuitions as precautionary measure after authorities failed to clear snow from lanes and bylanes in our locality,” he said.

He added that aged persons in his locality also failed to visit hospitals and clinics for medical checkups as it was dangerous to walk on slippery snow

Similar complaints were received from various areas about footpaths.

“It is messy state of affairs. How long will the Government play with lives of people. Different departments should be provided with proper gear and machinery to deal with emergencies,” said Rauf Bashir of Bemina.

SMC Commissioner Gazanfar Ali said that all ward officers have been given ultimatum for clearance of snow from lanes and bylanes by Monday afternoon.

He added that all necessary machinery and manpower have been put at the disposal of ward officers.

“All ward officers have been made bound to send a report in writing by 1 pm that all lanes and bylanes in their areas have been cleared. Failure to adhere with directions shall make them liable for action under rules,” he said.