SRINAGAR, Feb 7: A major snowfall occurred in Kashmir today throwing normal life out of gear.
Valley remained cut off from outside world as Srinagar-Jammu highway was closed for the second consecutive day and all flights were cancelled at the airport here due to snowfall and poor visibility.
The snowfall was moderate in plain areas, while it was moderate to heavy in upper reaches.
Five centimetres of snow was recorded in Kashmir capital, Srinagar while in other parts particularly in north Kashmir it snowed heavily.
A MeT official told media that 23 centimetre snow has been recorded in Banihal, 31 cm in Kokernag, 24 cm in Pahalgam.
Similar reports of light to heavy snowfall were reported from all the major district headquarters of the valley.
Because of the snowbound and slippery roads the vehicular movement was affected. While snow was cleared from major roads in Srinagar yet people in most areas alleged that the roads there remained snow bound.
The snow knocked down electric polls and lines in several areas disrupting the power supply.
Locals from Srinagar city said that administration put light or no efforts to clear snow on the roads. Commuters faced huge inconvenience due to accumulation of snow on roads. “Not to speak of link roads and interiors, even main roads were not cleared. I think administration was in deep slumber,” said a trader from Lal Chowk.
The snowfall caused damaged to property and at many places uprooted trees, At Chinar Bagh Dalgate a house boat was completely damaged due to massive snowfall during pre-dawn hours. Reports said that the house boat registered under the name of ‘Minar’ collapsed abruptly creating panic among the inmates.
“We somehow managed to rescue family members. We brought the issue into the notice of Kothi Bagh Police Station,” said Abdul Rasheed Raga, the owner of the damaged house boat adding that he is expecting some relief from the government.
People from Anantnag, Budgam and other districts alleged that no machinery was pressed into service to clear the snow from the roads. They said that besides electricity, there is water shortage as well.
Majority of the shopkeepers preferred to stay indoors due to massive snowfall.
The strategic Jammu-Srinagar highway also remained closed for the second consecutive day due to the fresh snowfall in the Banihal sector and landslides in Ramsoo-Ramban. “We did not allow any vehicle to cross Tunnel as the road was blocked and besides it is too slippery,” said a traffic official.
Due to the slippery road conditions transport in most parts of Kashmir remained off the roads and people had to face immense hardships.
An under-construction transmission tower of Bandipora grid station collapsed in Ajas area due to heavy snowfall.
Deputy Commissioner Bandipora later on tweeted that four towers under construction by M/S A2Z Infra Gurugram on turnkey basis have been damaged and will be covered under contractor liability. “The agency was asked to complete all works in 3 weeks Chief engineer S&O supervising it will conduct enquiry,” he said.
Reports said electric supply was interrupted in many parts of Valley including Srinagar city. Electricity played hide and seek even in Press Enclave Srinagar.
Reports said that snow has accumulated on electric poles at many places and these poles have become an imminent threat. Locals from Evergreen Colony Lawaypora Srinagar appealed power development department to take care of damaged wires in the area.