The season’s second snowfall on Monday coupled with defunct drainage system caused water-logging in several low-lying areas of the summer capital even as people blamed authorities of a delayed response in snow clearance and de-watering.
The district administration had set-up helpline numbers and claimed to have stationed 10 snow-clearance machines across the city. However, inhabitants of several areas said they “didn’t spot even a single snow-clearance machines” on most of the vital roads.
“There was not a single snow-clearance machine on roads from Rawalpora to SKIMS while I was travelling to my workplace. Snow wasn’t cleared on important roads leading to hospitals like SKIMS and SMHS even till 10:30 am,” said a resident of Wanbal wishing not to be named.
Commuters also blamed concerned departments of having less manpower to deal with the snow-clearance and de-watering. Inhabitants of various low-lying areas made desperate phone calls to Greater Kashmir saying their lanes and by-lanes were completely water-logged.
Accumulated snow and water-logging also caused traffic jams on the road beneath under-construction Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover. City-centre areas including Jehangir Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Residency Road and Regal Chowk also witnessed water-logging at many places. Locals said it took several hours for the authorities to start de-watering of city-centre roads.
Farhan Kitab, who runs a showroom and is also general secretary of Regal Chowk traders association said snow and water-logged roads causing a lull in market activity for most of the day. “It was only after we informed the authorities about water-logging that divisional commissioner Kashmir and deputy commissioner personally visited the area and asked officers to ensure that proper de-watering is undertaken,” Kitab said.
Meanwhile, spokesperson Srinagar Municipal Corporation ( SMC) said almost 3979 sanitary workers were put on job to clear snow from lanes, by lanes, shrines, mosques, hospitals and other important destinations across the city.
“It was also ensured that pedestrian walkways and waterlogged streets including Hari Singh High Street, LD hospital, Batamaloo and other areas are cleared off,” the statement said.
Joint Commissioner SMC, Syed Abul Qasim said besides pressing officials into service for manual clearance, several loaders and JCBs are made available for clearance of lanes and by lanes if situation arises. “We have set-up a snow control room and in case of any complaint the general public can get in touch on helpline number 2474499,” he added.
Chief enforcement officer SMC, Sofi Muhammad Akbar claimed that civic body is “swiftly attending to the priority areas. Dewatering has also been carried out particularly at the commercial hubs in and around Lal Chowk.”