Snowfall affects life in Kashmir Valley

Clear major routes especially those leading to health facilities, says Farooq

Fresh snowfall in the past 24 hours wreaked havoc in the Kashmir Valley in its wake, as the air and surface traffic remained suspended for the second consecutive day on Monday.

Scores of villages in the upper reaches of north and south Kashmir remained cut off from the district headquarters, badly affecting the movement of patients and students. Electricity also was affected in many areas.

An official said the Srinagar-Jammu highway and air traffic had been halted. Over 4,000 vehicles were left stranded along the highway, officials said.

The University of Kashmir (KU) and the Cluster University of Srinagar (CUS) postponed all examinations scheduled for January 5.

Protests broke out in Baramulla and parts of Srinagar due to poor availability of electricity.

“Heating of houses in this cold weather depends on electricity. The children are facing tough times due to non-availability of electricity,” said Zahid Rouf of Hawal, where there is no electricity for the past three days.

National Conference (NC) president and MP Farooq Abdullah urged the administration “to ensure snow clearance on major routes, especially those leading to health facilities, power and water supply, stock and adequate distribution of essential commodities including medicines, LPG, kerosene and other edibles”.

CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami alleged that the claims of the administration on alertness had been exposed “especially in South Kashmir that saw massive power breakdown, road blockades and scarcity of essential commodities”.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, P.K. Pole said adequate stock of essential commodities was available in the Valley. “For the higher reaches and the other areas, which remain cut-off during the winter period, we have kept ration for 4-6 months stocked,” Mr. Pole said.

The Met has warned people living in the higher reaches not to venture out during the snowfall. It predicted a fresh spell of snow in the next 24 hours.

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