Not the first snowfall

No reason why we can’t have undisturbed, or least disturbed, services even in harsh winter months
Not the first snowfall
Power curtailments, blocked roads, damaged homes, stuck patients, fallen live wires are frequent scenes during winters in Kashmir. File/ GK

Snow is a permanent feature of life in Kashmir. It is not just about the climate of this place, it is about the life that is lived here.

People in Kashmir instinctively know how to receive snow, and how to defend themselves from harsh weather conditions.

So there is no element of surprise or shock attached to snowfall, moderate or heavy. What is really surprising is that at the governmental and administrative level we behave as if every year snowfall is a maiden experience.

Our systems would collapse decades back in the same way as they do now. Our means of communication were impacted then as they are now.

Our services come under serious strain now, as they would then. Each year we seem to be faced with this weather condition anew. This time, though it was a moderate snowfall, we experienced the same set of problems as we were facing in earlier times.

It’s true that there are areas in the valley where the power remained unaffected, or slightly affected, but in many areas, especially villages, we saw a significant disruption in the supply of electricity.

Similarly, there are many areas that remained closed because of this moderate snowfall. The only surface connection that joins the valley with the rest of the country remained closed, and this is now an eternal feature of our winters.

Not with a sense of despair, not with an intent to criticise government departments, but just for the purpose of underlining how our life remains besieged by problems; snowfall bringing this much of hardship to a people in an era when technology and governance have changed the face of development, very surprising.

If development is seamless, and is scientifically organised, it is possible to bring a substantial change to life even in harsh weather conditions.

If the implementation of development projects is done in an efficient manner, there is no reason why we can’t have undisturbed, or least disturbed, services even in harsh winter months.

Greater Kashmir