Shopian residents demand snow-clearing machinery upgrade

Shopian residents demand snow-clearing machinery upgrade
Last winter the snow clearing machinery was put to test by harsh weather. File/ GK

Shopian: Shopian district administration may have geared up its machinery to meet any eventuality given the approaching winter, but locals say the snow-clearing machinery needs an upgrade.

The administration has readied the snow-clearing machines to make all roads motorable soon after snowfall during winter.

A senior official told Greater Kashmir that a robust mechanism was in place to clear snow from all the roads.

The official said that at least four snowplows, five snowcats, and one snow cutter had been kept ready to clear snow from different roads in the area.

“As the board exams are going on, we can’t afford any disruption in road connectivity in case it snows,” he said.

The district has 137 roads with a road length of 587 km.

The area receives heavy snowfall, and several villages remain cut off from the district headquarters for many days during the frosty winter due to the heavy accumulation of snow.

However, locals said that the snow-clearing machinery in the area needed an upgrade.

“Some area like Sedow, Heerpora, and Kellar receives six to eight-feet snow, and the machinery available with the administration fails to open the snow-clogged roads in these areas,” said Muhammad Iqbal, a resident of Kellar.

He said that the administration should add at least three to four snow cutters to its existing machinery.

“Last year, most of the snowplows broke during the snow-clearing operations,” Iqbal said.

Another official from the district administration said that a control room had been set up at the mini secretariat that would function round-the-clock.

“The officials from all emergency departments will remain available at the control room,” he said.

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