Snowfall throws life out of gear in South Kashmir

Snowfall throws life out of gear in South Kashmir

Snowfall throws life out of gear in South Kashmir

Anantnag, Jan 04 2021 : 

Moderate to heavy snowfall was witnessed in south Kashmir on Sunday, disrupting normal life of people. Reports from southern Kashmir districts—Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag said that plains received moderate snowfall where its hilly areas received ‘heavy’ snowfall since Sunday morning which continued till late evening. 

All main roads connecting the main towns in south remained ‘open’ but slippery throughout the day. 

Today’s snowfall is the first major snowfall of new year and was going on across south Kashmir when this report was being filed late on Sunday evening.

" This is the year's first snowfall here and everything is buried under thick white carpet," Faizan Ahmad, a Pulwama resident said. 

" South Kashmir has received heavy snowfall after a long time,” said Ahmad. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted widespread snowfall and rains in next two days. On Saturday IMD predicted fresh western disturbance from 3rd January over J&K and adjoining areas. 

The IMD stated that moderate rain or snow is expected most likely over wide spread places with chances of heavy snow at isolated places over the region particularly over Pirpanjal range, Chenab Valley, South Kashmir and adjoining areas between 4th & 5th of January. 

The IMD added that chances of isolated light rain or snow can't be ruled out during the night of 3rd January. The snowfall also led to power disruption in different areas while traffic jams mainly caused by slippery roads gave a tough time to commuters throughout the day. 

Motorists had to brave slippery roads, leading to gridlocks that caused immense problems to patients and ambulances in particular. Though roads in towns were cleared by authorities but most of the roads are still closed in several places in rural belts, locals said. 

The electricity too was snapped in various south Kashmir parts in the wake of snowfall, they said. Reports said roads in hilly areas of Shopain, Kulgam and Anantnag are “still closed”, cutting these off from the respective district headquarters. 

Meanwhile, people from several areas of southern Kashmir complained that snow wasn’t cleared from interconnected roads due to which the commuters had to face huge inconvenience. 

Locals said huge traffic jams were witnessed as the administration, particularly Road & Buildings department, was caught napping on the snow clearance front. 

The 300-km-long Jammu-Srinagar national highway, the only surface link between Kashmir and rest of the world, has been closed for vehicular traffic due to snowfall and slippery road conditions, officials said. 

They suggested that highway commuters must contact Traffic Control Units of Srinagar and Jammu to know the status of the road before leaving for their respective destinations.

People in the snowbound areas are urged to take precautions and not to venture on steep slopes during the next 48 hours.

 A senior police official who is posted in south Kashmir told Rising Kashmir that so far police have not received any report of loss of life or property due to snow from any part of south Kashmir. 

“ We are monitoring the situation,” an official said. News agency Press Trust of India (PTI) quoting officials reported that Qazigund – the gateway town to the valley in south Kashmir recorded around nine inches of snowfall till afternoon. 

The officials added Pahalgam tourist resort recorded five to six inches of snow, while Kokernag about nine inches. An official told news agency that road clearance was going on in different areas to ensure smooth movement. During the day people also complained of water scarcity in Anantnag and Shopian districts. According to sources, two water supply schemes remained disrupted in the upper reaches of Anantnag district. 

In the nearby Shopian district two more water supply schemes were affected due to snowfall. The officials assured that all disrupted water schemes will be restored very soon. 

In view of continuous snowfall in the valley police in Awantipora established an emergency helpline to facilitate the general public and to avoid any untoward incident or distress. 

Police said that in case of any emergency the general public is advised to contact on helpline numbers :- SHO Awantipora 9906805740, SHO Pampore 9419005705, SHO Tral 9797707003, SHO Khrew 7006762003 and PCR Awantipora 01933247369 ,7051404001. 

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner, Pulwama ,Dr Raghav Langer along with a team of officers conducted an extensive tour of the snow affected areas of the district on Sunday and took stock of snow clearance, restoration of power and water supply, availability of ration and other essentials in the area. DC also visited Lajura , Ratnipora , Awantipora , Lethpora and adjoining areas where he interacted with local and took stock of the snow clearance operation, availability of essential commodities, power and water supply restoration. 

He inspected Water Supply Scheme at Lethpora , Kakapora besides Grid Stations at Narwa and Pulwama to took stock of services .

He also inspected PDD workshop at Awantipora and directed the officials to expedite the delivery of repaired transformers to consumers without any delay. 

The DC also visited PHC Kakapora to took stock of availability of patient care facilities. 

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