Early snowfall poses early challenges

Change in weather conditions must become a catalyst for winter related preparations at government level
Fresh snowfall at Affarwat in the higher reaches of Gulmarg in north Kashmir's Baramulla district on Wednesday October 19, 2022.
Fresh snowfall at Affarwat in the higher reaches of Gulmarg in north Kashmir's Baramulla district on Wednesday October 19, 2022.Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Improvement in weather conditions after recent snowfall in upper reaches should not make the authorities complacent towards the winter preparedness. In fact the change in weather conditions should become a catalyst for such preparations to begin.

The government needs to gear up on all related fronts. Stocking of ration in advance, availability of other essentials, providing of health facilities in far flung areas and the like should be a priority.

Not only in remote areas, in rest of the areas also the winter related preparations should be in place well in time. While the snowfall occurred in upper reaches, its impact is felt in plain areas also due to intense cold.

Even as Kashmir is experiencing sunny days these days, but cold grips entire Valley in the night and;  early morning and evening hours too give that nip to us. This impact is to increase in winter.

The cold conditions have made the people to switch back to woollen cloths. The heating arrangements for the rooms are getting back at place. Kangris have re-surfaced in upper reaches.

While people are busy in making arrangements for the early winter conditions, the government at its level too must gear up. It has been observed in past that despite assurances at various levels regarding winter preparedness some shortcomings remain there, which get exposed after the snowfall. It should not happen this time.

The government machinery should be fully ready to meet the post snowfall related challenges - be it clearing snow bound roads, ensuring power and water supply after disruptions, availability of essential commodities and an end to hoarding and profiteering by shopkeepers during the closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

People always face this problem of hoarding and profiteering particularly in winter. Some shopkeepers taking advantage of the road blockade indulge in the malpractice and the price of fruits, vegetables, mutton, chicken and other essentials sky rocket.

The government departments are also unable to tackle this problem. While some brief campaigns are run, those prove ineffective due to lack of assertiveness by the concerned officials.

The departments must assert their writ so that the common people do not suffer due to such problems in winter.

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