Anantnag” It has been a month-and-a-half since the heavy snowfall in south Kashmir, but the administration here in Anantnag is yet to clear several roads and sidewalks of snow. This is causing not just inconvenience to the people but obstruction to business, as the snow piled in front of shops continues to block access.
Kashmir valley received one of the heaviest snowfalls in many years on January 3. The Anantnag district administration was caught napping and many areas remained cut-off for days on a stretch because the authorities failed to clear the roads.
While the gradual melting of the snow and some work done by the administration brought relief to many, there are still areas in Anantnag town that have huge mounds of snow lying around, obstructing movement of pedestrians and vehicles alike.
“The worst hit area is from General Bus Stand to Khannabal along the Khannabal-Pahalgam (KP) Road, where huge mounds of snow remain accumulated and the administration has done nothing to clear them,” locals told Kashmir Reader.
The shopkeepers along this stretch lament that their business has been severely affected. “We are losing customers thick and fast. Our business has been spiralling down since more than a month now because there is no space to park a car or even walk around,” Zahid Ahmad, a shopkeeper, told Kashmir Reader.
He said that even the people who brave to tread the sidewalks covered with snow, always remain at danger of slipping. “I witness at least 10 to 15 people falling because of the snow every day. Leave the business alone, this has become a nuisance for the general public as well,” Ahmad said.
Other shopkeepers told Kashmir Reader that they have been literally pleading with the district administration to take some pains and get the snow cleared. “But no one seems to care around here. The district administration is still sleeping,” they said.
Kashmir Reader tried to get in touch with Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag, Anshul Garg, but the official did not attend his phone despite repeated attempts. This reporter also texted the official, but received no reply.
Chairman of the Municipal Council Anantnag (MCA), Hilal Ahmad Shah, also did not answer phone calls.