The snowfall is not new to Kashmir Valley. The old winters have been harsher. Against the perception, this season’s major snowfall has been lesser compared to the last season or some previous years. The fact has been elucidated by the meteorological department. As per data shared, Srinagar witnessed 50.1mm of snow earlier this week while last year, 62.1mm was recorded on January 14. “Note: The record says that such snowfall is not NEW to our region…Happens almost every year. Even last year on 13-14 January heavy snowfall occurred in our regions,” the MeT department underlined.
While snow is not new, the hardships it brings have been long taken into the stride by the people. The harsh winter is rather part of the distinct identity of Kashmir with all the hardships and joys. The people know well that better the snowfall, the better are the prospects of a good harvest as well as the availability of water during summer. The tourism players are hoping that the snow which is a novelty for the majority of Indians will bring cheer to them after what transpired in the last two years—first on account of August 5, 2019 decisions by the government of India which is remembered with security and communication clampdown eased to a lot since, though not completely removed as the internet speed is still restricted to 2G while the world and even other parts of India prepare for 5G. The covid-19 dashed any hopes of a revival for them.
It is true that people take the season’s difficulties in their stride but the successive governments are far from adopting the challenges and ensure that the basic services are restored at the earliest when it snows. It has been more than three days that most lanes and by-lanes including those in Srinagar are mostly clogged up with snow. The claims by the administration grossly mismatch from the realities as they exist on the ground. In case a sick person has to be taken to the hospital, it is a nightmare for the person and the family. In such a situation when more disruptions happen, and the atmosphere turns gloomy, people also suffer psychologically. The people are already under deep stress for almost two years on various counts—the businesses are abysmal, the jobs have been lost, the income levels have drastically reduced, and the mental burdens have accumulated. In such a situation, the government’s response to the snowfall on many counts has been tardy, to say the least. It is hoped that the administration moves swiftly and at least makes the roads including lanes and by-lanes passable immediately.