Authorities play blame-game after Hospitals, Airport remained inaccessible due to uncleared snow for days

Srinagar: The widespread snowfall over the last three days across Kashmir has disrupted the life in the valley completely as roads remain blocked, electricity supply suspended in many parts of Kashmir, and fuel is being rationed.

Snowfall started on the evening of January 4 and continued for three days. While over 12 inches of snow has been recorded in north Kashmir’s plains and central Kashmir, parts of south Kashmir have seen up to 5 feet of snow.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has failed to clear the main roads for two days including the new airport road from snow which led to traffic mess with people preferring to walk with their luggage as roads remained jam-packed with traffic.

A commuter at Parraypora area said that there was huge traffic jam on the airport road today due to which people who were waiting hours in the public transports moved out of their cabs and preferred to walk along with their luggage.

A resident of Bemina, Basharat Ahmad said that snow clearance in HIG colony Bemina started in the afternoon of Thursday “after four days”.

“We remained restricted to our homes for the last three days as lanes leading to main roads were completely blocked. Roads were slippery and people could not use vehicles for emergencies,” he said.

Basharat added that the government on twitter are making high claims that they are on night duties to clear snow but on ground they are clearing roads where bureaucrats and highly influential people are residing.

“In case of an emergency, how would a patient who suffers a heart attack reach the hospital on time when roads are not clear for private vehicles? There is a kidney failure patient in our colony who relies on dialysis but he was unable to reach the hospital during these days,” he added.

The roads leading to hospitals including SKIMS have also not been cleared which gives tough time to patients suffering from various ailments.

“Inner roads of SKIMS hospital have also not been cleared of snow due to which roads have become slippery and can lead to many incidents,” said Altaf Ahmad, a resident of Soura.

He said that the government is visible only on twitter however, the reality is different.

“On twitter the government is making high claims and are uploading pictures for show off and attracting appreciation from people.”

Students on the other side have also said that since 3 days SPS Library has remained closed due to the heavy snowfall which have disrupted their study.

“After three days of complete closure of SPS Library, we thought that today, the library will be open. We reached at around 10 in the morning but to our surprise it was closed today as well. We contacted officials and they said that they could not reach the Library because the roads were blocked,” said Nousheen, a student preparing for GATE.

Mohammad Rafi, Director SPS Library said that the staff could not reach the library as roads are not cleared from many sides due to which the library could not be opened for students.

Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Matto, in a press conference said that 15 JCBs and loaders are the only equipment to clear 15,000 lanes across Srinagar.

“15 JCBs and loaders are not enough to clear the 15,000 lanes of Srinagar. It is embarrassing to see the SMC men clearing roads with shovels. Soon after I assumed that charge as Mayor, I asked for the procurement of 25 snow clearance machines, but unfortunately, I don’t know why the machines were not procured despite having sufficient funds available,” he said.

Srinagar District Development Commissioner, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary was not available for comments.


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