Snowfall brings life to a halt in Srinagar

Heavy snowfall coupled with delay in snow clearance affected normal life in the summer capital on Thursday.
Snowfall brings life to a halt in Srinagar
Photo: Habib Naqash/ GK

Heavy snowfall coupled with delay in snow clearance affected normal life in the summer capital on Thursday. 

Vehicular movement on vital roads including Residency Road and MA Road was affected as no men or machinery was pressed into service till afternoon to clear snow. Most of the shops remained closed in city markets as people preferred to stay indoors due to slippery conditions. 

"Around 12.15 pm, a lone snow clearance machine was pressed into service here, but it failed to clear roads," said Ashfaq Ahmad, a shopkeeper at Regal Chowk.

Residents of civil areas and Downtown said that they could not reach city centre as snow was not cleared from roads. 

"Around three to four inch snow has accumulated in lanes and bylanes but authorities are yet to start snow clearance," said Ghulam Ahmad a resident of HabbaKadal. 

Authorities said they have designated nodal officers in Srinagar to monitor the situation within their areas of jurisdictions. Some helpline numbers were also issued for general public. However, people termed it as symbolic gestures. 

"It seems authorities are busy only on social networking sites to share few photos, helpline numbers and updates. However ground, situation is totally different and people are suffering as authorities were ill-prepared," said Aamir Ahmad of GadoodBaghHabbaKadal.

This reporter called on one of the helpline numbers 0194-2474499 and complained about non-clearance of snow in various areas in Downtown, however the response was not satisfactory. "We have pressed men for manual clearance of snow from lanes and bylanes. The  job in left out areas will be done on Friday," a helpline incharge who introduced himself as 'SMC helper' replied.  

The inhabitants of Shivpora, Indira Nagar and Batwara areas which  fall under the domain of BadamiBagh Cantonment, complained that despite forecast of heavy snowfall, the concerned authorities failed to clear snow from roads. 

"In absence of snow clearance, many people left by foot while majority couldn't move out of their homes," a resident of Indira Nagar complained.

In most of city areas, electricity was not restored at the time of filing of this report.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Syed AbidRasheed Shah said that response mechanism to deal with the situation having arisen from the inclement weather situation in the district has been fully activated. 

"All line departments including MED, PWD, PHE, SMC, PDD, UEED, Traffic and Health are on the ground in efforts to restore the affected services," he said. 

He said the concerned departments are under strict instructions to ensure swift snow-clearance and dewatering of all roads and lanes. He snow will be cleared on priority from roads leading to important installations like hospitals and receiving stations. "Traffic department has been directed to ensure maximum police deployment for effective handling of traffic situation and movement in the City," the DC added.

Contact number in case of emergency

DC office: 0194-2477033 /2452182 /9419042342 /7051112345, 

R&B dept: 0194-2313751 /7006003383, 

Fire & Emergency Services: 0194-2479488 /101 /9419251908, 

MED: 0194-2497458 /9596193550 /9419059311, 

PDD: 0194-2452001 /9419008002 /9419019634 /9419033244, 

UEED: 0194-2500444; SMC 0194-2474499 /18001807038, 

PHE: 0194-2452047 /9596046111, 

Health: 0194-2452498 /9906540795 /941900484, 

Drainage: 9906621818; CAPD 0194-2455019, 

Police Control Room: 0194-2452092 /100 

Traffic Control Room: 0194-2450022

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