SHOPIAN: All essential supplies including water, electricity and roads have been badly hit in Shopian district by heavy snowfall. Majority of the roads were still under two to three feet of snow on Thursday despite the administration’s efforts to clear snow of them.
Officials in the district administration said that the intensity of snowfall was such that within half an hour of snow clearance, the roads are covered in snow again.
“Despite clearing roads four times in the day, the roads were closed again by the heavy snowfall,” an official at the mechanical department told Kashmir Reader.
Power supply in the district was disrupted on Wednesday evening when the snowfall began, but on Thursday it was snapped in the entire district. Officials of the Power Development Department (PDD) told Kashmir Reader that there occurred short-circuits in many areas, causing breakdown of the 133KVA transmission line that supplies power to most of the district.
“The snowfall is heavy and continuous. It is not letting us restore the services. Hotlines are also off due to short-circuit in transmission lines,” said Executive Engineer PDD Shopian, Irshad Ahmad Choudhary.
He added that it would take at least two days to restore power services in the district, after the snowfall stops. He said that all electricity towers and grid stations were, however, safe as of now.
Patients faced difficulties in reaching health centres in the main town. Chief Medical Officer Shopian Dr Abdul Rasheed told Kashmir Reader that there were sufficient doctors and paramedic staff available at health centres and alternative heating arrangements due to disruption of electricity had been made in the hospitals. He added that all ambulances were functional and ready for ferrying patients.
Drinking water supply was totally off in majority of the areas in the district on Thursday. People had to fetch water from canals, locals said.
Officials at the PHE department said that snow had accumulated in the water reservoirs at several places, which had blocked water supply pipes. They said the services will be restored soon after snowfall stops.
Meanwhile, orchardists and fruit growers in the district are apprehensive about the safety of trees as they have already sustained heavy losses due to early snowfall on November 3. Officials of the horticulture department have advised orchardists to regularly shake the trees to bring down the snow accumulated on them.
In the evening, officials from the PDD said that the 133KVA lines in the district had been restored by 6pm.