Blaming the successive governments for “not augmenting” infrastructure in key departments, Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu Thursday said that Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has not a single snow-clearance machine.
“I will always speak the truth. The truth is that during COVID19 we realized that we don’t have sufficient ventilators in hospitals. In 2014 floods, we realized that we were not prepared for floods. And today, I am telling you SMC does not have a single snow clearance machine,” he said while addressing media persons at Kashmir Press Club here.
He said that it is because of the decades of “misgovernance” that no augmentation of infrastructure has been made. “Those (politicians) who claim administration was caught napping post-snowfall must answer what augmentation they have done to UEED, SMC, R&B, PDD, Health and other key departments when they were in power,” he added.
He said that around a year ago, he had approved procurement of 25 snow clearance machines by the SMC but some officials are still sitting over those files. “Had we procured those machines, the situation after snowfall would have been different. SMC is pressing 15 JCBs and loaders for snow clearance which is not effective, and insufficient for the city,” he said.
He said that the SMC is presently ill-equipped and have no machines for snow clearance of the red-tapism adopted by few SMC officials.
“Officially, we have around 7500 lanes and bylanes (under our charge). Unofficially, we have 15000 lanes and bylanes. But not a single snow clearance machine,” he said.
Ruing the lack of coordination among departments, he said that the response by the three agencies— Mechanical Engineering, Roads and Building and the SMC— could have been better, if it was coordinated.
“It is embarrassing to see SMC men removing snow from roads and footpaths with shovels. Even the Supreme Court has said no to manual scavenging,” he said. “I respect LG as he believes in delivering. I will also write a letter to him with request to ascertain why it took a long to clear the snow on roads,” he said while replying to a query.