Kupwara: A group of local men in Budnamal area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district was ‘forced’ to carry a pregnant woman on their shoulders to some distance and then on a horse to the hospital in knee-deep snow on Saturday.
The men shouldered the woman in a cot due to the closure of roads for vehicular traffic amid about 3-ft snowfall in the area.
The woman’s husband Abdul Jabar Malik told Global News Agency said that due to the closure of Budnamal road he along with other persons carried her to the hospital through the snow on the horse.
“Due to the emergency, we carried her on shoulders in a cot up to 4 kilometres till Babyi Top from where we ferried her on the horse,” he said.
The locals urged authorities to clear the snow-clogged roads leading to the inhabitation to avoid any difficulty to the patients and commoners alike in immediate future.
However, this is the first such incident Kashmir’s far-flung areas witnessed due to the closure of roads following heavy snowfall.
On January 5, two pregnant women, from two different areas of north Kashmir, undergoing labour pain were carried on a cot to the hospitals. One of the pregnant women delivered a baby midway in Bandipora.
A family from Pannar, a remote village in Bandipora district, had informed that had to carry the pregnant women on a cot as the snow which accumulated on the road was not cleared by the administration.
“Accumulation of snow was the only reason no vehicle could ply on the road and the patient had to be taken to hospital on the cot but before reaching the hospital, she delivered a baby in the midway,” the locals said earlier.
“We had already contacted the hospital authorities in this regard but they did not do anything due to road closure,” they said.
Similarly, another incident was reported from Hillan Phalipora area of Boniyar in Baramulla district where the family of the pregnant woman had to carry her on a cot while it was snowing on the way.
“Due to heavy snowfall and inclement weather, neither community health service vehicles nor civil transport could drive on snow-filled roads, “locals said, adding that they carried the patient on a cot for about five kilometers after they got a vehicle to take the patient to the hospital.
On January 6, a similar incident was reported in south Kashmir. A woman, writhing with labour pain, was shifted to the hospital in a JCB in Kapran area of Verinag in Anantnag district due to the road blockade.
A woman from Trajan village in Verinag hamlet developed labour pain in the dead of night and her family members were finding it very difficult to take her to a nearby hospital due to the accumulation of snow and continuous snowfall in the area.
Meanwhile, the continuous snowfall in the valley has led to the closure of main roads including Srinagar-Jammu and air traffic to and fro Srinagar airport.
Earlier in the day, the Airport Authority of India said that a call on the operation of flights to and fro Srinagar airport would be taken at 1600 hours, less than an hour after it announced the resumption of the operations soon.
“Unfortunately the snowfall has started again and the visibility has also dropped. We will take a call at 4 pm. Kindly bear with us,” AAI said in a tweet.
The tweet followed one tweeted nearly an hour ago when AAI, announcing that the “weather is clear now. we have also cleared the snow from the runway and the apron.We will soon start the operations at the Airport.”
A number of flights to and fro the Srinagar airport were cancelled and others delayed as continued snowfall reduced the visibility at the airport.
On Friday, 31 flights operated to and fro the airport before a sudden change in weather led to the cancellation of six others.
On Thursday, 35 flights operated while 6 others were cancelled. 42 flights were cancelled on Tuesday while many as 37 could not operate on Wednesday.