Baramulla: At least four residential houses suffered damages following heavy snowfall across the Baramulla district on Saturday. An official said that two residential houses suffered damage in Churanda village of Uri after the roof of two residential houses collapsed under the weight of snow.
No one was injured in the incident. In Kreeri and Mamoosa Pattan, two residential houses were partially damaged after their rooftop caved in due to the heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile, Baramulla district on Saturday recorded moderate to heavy snowfall. Several villages in the upper reaches of Uri remained disconnected from the Baramulla district headquarter for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday.
Among the affected villages include, Chowkas, Gwalta, Dana, Mothal, Hathlanga, Churanda, Batgrah, Runda, Panchnag, Budrali, Babagail, Pringal, limber, Warikhah, Shahkoot, Chotali, Dudran, Banali, Darakunj and Salasan. Following the heavy snowfall, the electricity distribution system has been badly affected with the result, the locals facing power and drinking water crisis.
Locals said they were facing many inconveniences due to the aftermath of the snowfall. They said the heavy snowfall has thrown life out of gear in the upper reaches of the Uri area.
“We are facing tremendous hardships. The electricity, as well as potable water supply, is disrupted. In case there is any emergency on health grounds, we will be unable to shift the patient to the hospital as authorities have failed to clear snow from roads,” said Muhammad Ismail Khan, a resident of Boniyar.
The locals have alleged that the delay in snow clearance is also because contractors are not ready to take part in the snow clearance as the concerned department has not cleared last year snow clearance payment. “Usually concerned department will hire contractors to clear snow from roads. However, this winter season none of the contractors are ready to clear snow from roads as they have several arrears. With the result entire population of more than a dozen villages are suffering,” said Muhammad Nasir.
Meanwhile, the National Conference district president for Baramulla, Dr Sajad Shafi, who also hails from Uri town urged the authorities to initiate snow clearance from far-flung areas of Uri under Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Act, (MGNREGA), which will ensure early snow clearance besides will provide job opportunity to scores of people who are already facing an economic crunch.
“If authorities will start snow clearance under MGNREGA, it will be huge succour for local residence. Primarily it will ensure early snow clearance besides will be a source of income for the local youths,” he said. He also urged authorities to keep a few snow clearance machines available for the upper belt of the Uri town. He said in the past authorities have been using JCB instead of snow clearance machines which often result in dents to the road surface.