After the recent snowfall roads in several areas in upper reaches continue to remain blocked. As a result, the people living in these areas face hardships. Patients in need of emergency treatment in hospitals get stuck at homes.
They do not reach hospitals due to non-availability of transport. Sometimes some of them are carried on cots by their family members, who have to walk several kilometres on foot.
A pregnant woman delivered twins at a hospital in Uri. The transport facility to take her, and the new born, was not available and she had to be carried on a cot. There may be a number of such incidents, which go unnoticed.
The routine movement of the people in these snow bound areas has also got affected due to blocked road. This is affecting the normal life and routine activities of the people.
The local administration must come to the rescue of the people in these areas and start snow clearance work on the blocked roads. Any delay in it would further add to the sufferings of the people there.
Lack of funds should not be an excuse to keep the roads blocked for long. Some people have been demanding utilising some money from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MG-NREGA) for snow clearance work also.
In fact they want inclusion of snow clearance work into (MG-NREGA). According to them, the developmental work comes to a standstill during winter and the labourers have no source of livelihood in the season.
If the funds are utilised, not only the roads will be cleared of snow but the labourers will also earn some money to feed their families.
Reports from some areas say that JCB machines, which are not meant for snow clearance, are used on roads and it causes damage to road surface.
Only the specific snow clearance machines should be used so that there is no damage to roads. And in the areas, where snow clearance machines are not available, the services of labourers must be fully utilised.
Whether through machines or labourers, the snow bound roads in the rural areas of higher reaches must be cleared of snow at the earliest.
This is important to provide some kind of relief to the people in these areas after the recent heavy snowfall there.
That way the patients can be taken to hospitals in vehicles. They would get timely treatment and will not get stuck at homes unnecessarily or taken to hospitals on cots.