Anantnag: The administration here in Anantnag district came a cropper in its response to the emergencies due to heavy snowfall on Sunday, be it the clearance of roads or the restoration of power supply.
Like all other parts of the valley, Anantnag district received heavy snowfall throughout the day and into the evening. The local people that Kashmir Reader talked to said the administration had failed “miserably”.
“Even the main roads in towns of the district, including Anantnag town, were not cleared of snow. Vehicles had to be pushed around by locals to make way when the traffic came to a complete halt near the Deputy Commissioner’s residence near Khanabal,” local sources said.
Parts of the main town, including Bakshiabad, Kadipora and other areas, remained cut-off due to the inability of the authorities to clear snow. “Even the all important Khanabal-Pahalgam road was blocked at various places. They (the administration) cleared the snow once in the morning and then left the roads as they were,” the locals living along the road said.
Some tourists who were travelling towards Pahalgam had to cancel their travel plans because the KP road was too dangerous to travel. “I have been to places where it snows more than this, but I have not seen such miserable conditions anywhere else. Our vehicle got stuck at several places and all thanks to the locals who pushed our vehicle and got us out of the mess,” a tourist from Mumbai, stuck along the KP road, said.
Likewise, in another major town of the district, Bijbehara, the snow clearance was carried out once in the morning and then the administration did not bother to have a second look.
“All the interior roads in our town are blocked now. Even ambulances got stuck along the old national highway here and the locals had to assemble to make sure that the vehicles were pushed out of the snow. The administration watched with its hands folded,” the residents told Kashmir Reader.
The residents lamented that the roads remained uncleared and it might be a nightmare if an emergency arises during the night. “Who will be responsible?” the residents asked.
Far-flung villages in the district did not even complain about the situation, given how the administration failed in handling the situation in the main towns.
Same was the case with power supply. Most parts of the district witnessed a blackout. “Even parts of the main town are without power supply, you can imagine the plight of the people living in villages,” residents said.
Kashmir Reader talked to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) KK Sidha to get his version of the story. He maintained that everything was fine. “I have been to Kokernag and other areas today. At some places the traffic remained suspended because the road was slippery,” Sidha said.
He disconnected the call before talking about the power blackout and taking any further questions about lack of snow clearance, even in parts of main town Anantnag.