The uninterrupted snowfall which began late on Saturday night continued in south Kashmir districts on Tuesday leading to closure of roads and heavy disruptions in utility services. The upper reaches of the region had already received as much as 30 inches and low lying areas around 18 inches of snow. With the fresh bout it has crossed 48 and 28 inches respectively.
In Anantnag district even as snow clearance machines were pressed into service occasionally on the main roads, Srinagar-Anantnag highway; Khanabal Pahalgam (KP) road; Anantnag – Shangus; Anantnag-Kokernag; Anantnag Doori; Bijbehara-Pahalgam roads but the uninterrupted snowfall meant the roads remained blocked.
“The slippery road conditions didn’t allow the traffic to ply even on these roads,” locals said
They said the roads connecting villages to towns continue to remain cut off.
“We were forced to ferry the patients and pregnant woman on stretchers to the hospitals,” said Muhammad Shaban of Soaf Shali village of Kokernag.
Similar reports poured in from other villages of the district and neighbouring Kulgam.
“Around 5 feet of snow has piled up in our area and the roads have not been cleared at all,” said Khurshid Ahmad of DH Pora, Kulgam.
People in villages were seen clearing the snow on the roofs of their houses.
“There is every possibility of houses now collapsing so we have to do it regularly,” said Ishtiyaq Ahmad of remote Kapran village of Verinag.
Meanwhile, Anantnag district continued to reel in darkness for the third running day.
“It had just started snowing when the electricity was snapped in our area. It has been more than 60 hours now and we only got to see the power for barely 40 minutes that too in intervals,” said Wasim Ahmad of Iqbal market locality of the old town.
He said usually the Anantnag town gets surplus power during snowfall, as electricity is snapped in rural areas but this time it was not so.
“If this is the power scenario of the main town imagine that of far-flung areas where it has snowed heavily and the infrastructure is damaged,” Ahmad said.
Although the continuous snowfall affected the snow clearing process, some of the priority roads in the district were cleared.
District Commissioner, Choudary Mohammad Yasin, told the Greater Kashmir that Shopian-Pulwama, Shopian- Kellar and Zainpora-Bijbehara roads had been cleared.
“The snow clearing process on various link roads is going on at full throttle,” he said. He added that the continuous snowfall had delayed the process.
Residents of dozens of villages including Handew, Narwani, chotipora, and Shalidar Zrakin in Kellar block said that they are cut off from the district headquarter for the third straight day.
Although the electricity was briefly restored in Shopian town on Tuesday evening, most of the areas continued to reel under darkness.
“The snowfall has plunged dozens of villages from this side of the district into darkness,” said Mudasir Ahmad Paul, a resident of Pargochi.
Residents from most of the areas in the district are complaining of shortage of water supply since Saturday evening.
The low-lying areas of the district have received around 4 feet deep snowfall while the upper reaches experienced 5 to 6 feet of snow.
In Pulwama district, many residents complained that snow had not been cleared from many roads including Pulwama- Wahibugh, Newa-Rohmoo and other roads.
Javed Ahmad, a local resident complained of acute shortage of water supply.
Residents from the outlying villages of Sagarwani, Achagoza and Abhama also said that the authorities had not cleared snow in these areas.
“A snow plough showed up in our village yesterday and cleared the road partially. Since then we did not see it”, said Akeel Ahmad, a local resident of Achgoza.
Most of the locals in South Kashmir preferred to stay indoors amid an uninterrupted snow fall.