Road to Kulgam’s ‘tourist village’ buried under snow

Kulgam: The people living in Hallan village of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district have been facing acute hardships as the administration has failed to clear the snow off a 4-kilometer stretch between the village and nearby Manzgam, their only link to the outside world. The fresh, heavy snowfall in the area has further deepened the crisis for the general public in the area.
Ironically, the Hallan village was recently declared a “tourist village” by the administration. “And despite that, the only link we have with the outside world is this road which is yet to be macadamized,” the residents of the area said.
They said that the road remains a treacherous one, regardless of the weather and the season but has become all the more unpliable amid heavy snowfall in the area. “The road is made up of earth filling, which has not even been properly leveled. Imagine what snow might have done to it,” the locals said.
The area received heavy snowfall last week, following which a clearance team reached the area and did some superficial snow clearance. The road, however, continued to remain un-motorable with more than one kilometer completely buried under snow and mounds of snow blocking the road on the other three-kilometer stretch.
“And now the fresh snowfall. We have around 4 feet of snow accumulated on the 1-kilometre stretch that was not cleared at all. We have been left to fend for ourselves,” the locals said.
They maintained that they had to carry a pregnant lady on a cot for 4 kilometers to a hospital in Manzgam, as their area lacks any medical facilities and the road remains un-motorable.
“We have been pleading with the authorities to macadamize this road. They have not done that and now they are not clearing the snow as well. What are we supposed to do?” the concerned locals told Kashmir Reader.
In November last year, the Tehsildar of the area had told Kashmir Reader that he has directed the BDO to take immediate steps to mend the condition of the road. The Tehsildar had acknowledged that the situation was pretty difficult for the general public.
No steps have been taken thus far for the betterment of the road. On the other hand the Sub-Divisional Magistrate DH Pora, Bashir-ul-Hassan, today said that the villagers were lying.
“We have sent the team for snow clearance twice into the area. Why are these people lying?” the SDM told Kashmir Reader, “I will still contact the agency entrusted with the work and enquire about the status,”
The SDM said that it was snowing heavily and he will direct the teams to reach the place as soon as the weather improves. “Otherwise we will clear the road, it will snow again and they will again allege that the road was not cleared,” he said.


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