Will take two more days to make roads feasible for traffic: Executive Engineer
Shopian: It has been a week now that transport in Shopian is still off the roads, with snow sliding down roofs on to roads adding to the difficulties of snow clearance.
Even after day and night efforts put in by the Mechanical Engineering and other departments, the roads are still covered in snow. A resident of the main town said that though heavy machinery was used, about six inches of snow still remain on roads at almost every place.
He said that only a few passenger vehicles were able to go to Srinagar from Shopian while all the other cab drivers have stayed home as their vehicles are stuck in snow. “It is an absolute risk to bring a vehicle on the road. Either it gets stuck or it risks an accident,” he said.
Villagers who need essential commodities and medicines now walk on foot to reach Shopian town or other healthcare facilities. “In the past six days I have twice visited Shopian on foot, walking 16 kilometers to fetch medicines,” said Muhammad Yasin, a resident of Trenz area.
Javid Ahmad Bhat, resident of another rural area, said his mother had an appointment with a doctor in Srinagar but even getting out of the village was next to impossible.
At places where the authorities have cleared snow from roads, some people are bringing snow from their yards and throwing it on the roads, locals complained.
Officials call the heavy snowfall a natural disaster that is difficult to deal with. They said that despite using all the available machinery, the task was taking time. “It is not normal snowfall which we used to clear in 12 hours. It was disastrous and people have to wait for some more time,” said a senior official from the Mechanical Engineering department.
In Shopian district there are 600 kilometers of road which are maintained by the Mechanical Engineering department, which has 10 snow clearance machines at its disposal.
Executive Engineer at the department, Fayaz Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader that snow clearance is almost complete in Pulwama, but in Shopian the task is proving difficult. “We have completed 70 percent of the clearance in Shopian and it will take two more days to make roads feasible for vehicular movement,” he said.
He said that the department has sufficient number of machines and manpower for “normal snowfall”.
“It was very heavy snowfall and it was continuous, which foiled many of our efforts,” he said.
Another senior official said that they had written to higher authorities for more sophisticated machines for Shopian but their demand was not met. “If there will be similar snowfall in the future, it would be impossible to clear it for weeks,” he said.