Shopian: It has been a fortnight since south Kashmir received heavy snowfall and roads in other districts have been cleared of snow but here in Shopian the authorities have even failed to clear the main road in the town.
Locals and students from Chitragam, Imam Sahib and adjoining areas told Kashmir Reader that they have to spend hours pushing their vehicles on the slippery roads. They said that since last week a stream is flowing over a road and the water freezes in the night, making it even more dangerous to move on.
“Daily we push our vehicle for one kilometer to reach Shopian. Similar is the case with reaching the Imam Sahib market,” said Tawheed Ahmad, a resident of Imam Sahib area.
In the main Shopian town, more than a foot of snow has frozen on the roads. Pedestrians are at risk of coming under vehicles which often slip and veer off on the icy road.
The situation is similar even outside the Deputy Commissioner’s residence in Batpora area, as well as at the four-way crossing, Gol Chowk, Bon Bazar and other town areas.
Locals from Pinjora told Kashmir Reader that even after 15 days the authorities have failed to clear the roads. They said that snow has been removed from only a narrow stretch of the road, due to which hours-long traffic jams occur daily, despite it being a village area.
In the main town, shopkeepers use shovels to clear the snow from the roads outside. Everyone is afraid of the forecast by the meteorological department of another spell of moderate to heavy snowfall in Shopian this weekend.
Bashir Ahmad Bhat, a local from Shopian town, said that there isn’t even salt available with the administration with which they could have melted the snow to clear the roads.
For the past 10 days now, district Shopian is recording extremely low night temperatures.
Deputy Commissioner Shopian Shrikant Balasaheb Suse told Kashmir Reader that men and machinery have been put on the job. “We are clearing the snow wherever there is need to do so,” he said.
When asked how the authorities are prepared to meet the challenges of another spell of snowfall, he said, “We have made all preparations for that very purpose. This time there would be good response.”