Srinagar, Jan 8: As Kashmir continues to fight snow fury, people in the Valley are trying to help themselves instead of waiting for the support from the administration.
Since the day Kashmir witnessed heavy snowfall, social media has been flooded with pictures about people trying to find the ways and means on their own to resume their daily chores. In many areas across the Valley, mohalla committees have employed labourers to clear the snowbound lanes and bylanes. “We can’t expect the administration to clear every lane and bye-lane. If we want to come out from our homes we will have to put in some effort and we are doing it,” said Farooq Ahmed of Rawalpora.
He said that soon after the snowfall stopped they made an announcement in a Masjid and asked one member from each family to come out and lend a helping hand to clear the snow. “On the first day we made the track for people to walk. On the next day we employed some labourers who were searching for work and got our entire lane cleared,” Ahmed added.
In many areas people took help of private JCB and tractor owners to clear the snowbound lanes. “We have witnessed such a heavy snowfall after a long time. We were not expecting that roads leading to our dwellings will get blocked and we will struggle to even venture out on foot,” said Mushtaq Ahmed of the old city.
He said that a lot of hue and cry is being raised over authorities not being able to reach the people but the fact of the matter is that we witnessed a very heavy spell of snowfall that too after a very long time. “Even authorities were not prepared to handle the situation. People have done a commendable job and whatever administration could do it did and is still doing it.”
It’s in place to mention here that Srinagar Mayor Juanid Azim Mattu on Thursday had admitted that Srinagar Municipal Corporation was not equipped to handle the situation due to lack of machinery. “It is embarrassing to see the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) men clearing snow with shovels,” Mattu had said.
He had admitted that SMC and other two departments clearing the snow on roads could have done better. “Response by the three department including the Mechanical Engineering department, Roads and Building and SMC could have been better and there is no doubt over it,” he had said.
“As far as SMC is concerned, the corporation has only 12-15 JCBs and loaders to deal with the situation after snowfall. It is unfortunate that 15 JCBs and loaders are supposed to clear 15,000 lanes across Srinagar,” he had said.