Weather Improves, Link Roads Still Blocked
, Dec 31: Day after Kashmir
received season’s first major snowfall, weather situation improved on Friday as sun played hide and seek resulting in slight increase of temperature. Though weatherman forecast snowfall and rains at isolated places, conditions in plains is expected to remain dry. Air traffic to and from the Valley resumed day after it was suspended due to bad weather.
People got a breather from heavy downpour which had hit normal life on Thursday and cut the Valley from outside world apart from hitting essential services including power, road communication and water supply to many villages and towns.
As sun came out occasionally during the day, the accumulated snow on the roadsides started to melt causing water logging at different places. It was a common sight at various places in the summer capital, Srinagar
, including Residency Road at Lal Chowk, Buchwara, Sonawar and low lying areas of Bemina and Mahjoor Nagar.
Complaints of power breakdown continued to pour in especially from rural Kashmir
even as the authorities asserted to have geared up men and machinery to improve the power scenario.
“We have not seen any electric supply for last two days,” said Muzaffar Ahmad, a resident of South Kashmir
’s Kulgam district.
Reports reaching here said traffic movement continued to remain disrupted for second day to scores of villages across the Valley as authorities were yet to clear the snow from the roads.
People from different places in Islamabad
(Anantnag) complained about Government’s failure to remove snow from major roads including Verinag, Kulgam-Aharbal and Arwani-Frasil to completely restore the intra and inter district road communication.
Electricity supply continued to remain cut off to many districts in the south Kashmir
including Shopian which had received major snowfall along with Pulwama and Kulgam. Water logging was a common scene at many places in Islamabad
(Anantnag) including main town. Many far flung and upper reaches of central Kashmir’s district Budgam including Kachwari, Mujpathree, Arizal, Raiyar in Khansahab remained cut off as authorities failed to clear snow off the roads for second consecutive day.
Situation was similar in different areas of Chadoora tehsil including Surasyar, Branwar, Dadompora, Lolipora, Googipathree and Buzgoo Nilnag.
The situation returned to normal in North Kashmir
which witnessed a sunny day today. However Sadna Top, Furkiyaan and Z-Gali which connect different border areas including Machil, Tangdhar Karen with Valley remained snow bound. “The thickness of the snow is more than 2 feet on the roads,” said Disaster Management head in Divisional Commissioner’s office, Amir Ali.
He said almost 65 percent of all roads have been cleared of snow and it is expected that by tomorrow evening all roads will be cleared. The weather department had forecast moderate to heavy snowfall across the Valley till JanuaryI.
“The minimum temperature recorded here was minus 0.2 degree Celsius on Dec 31. Higher reaches and isolated places are likely to receive moderate snowfall and rains,” said an official of Meteorological Department.
Ali said air traffic was restored today and all flights to and from the Valley operated.
Kashmir tourism industry is banking on the fresh snowfall to help attract snow sports lovers from across the globe to hit famous slopes of Gulmarg- major winter sport destination in the Valley.
“We are expecting that tourist rush will pick up now. Everybody was waiting for the snowfall,” said Director Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah. The snowfall would definitely boost the winter tourism in the Valley, he said.
Meanwhile Government summoned a top level meeting of heads of all concerned departments to review the situation.
An official handout said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is personally monitoring the arrangements, directed Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather to take on spot decisions to deal with post snowfall situation.
A high level meeting of all HoDs of divisional administration was called by the FM. He appreciated the prompt response shown by the administration in dealing with the snowfall situation and emphasized for remaining alert so that no inconvenience is caused to people. He directed the Mechanical Engineering department to deploy more water pumps to drain out the water from the inundated areas.