Srinagar, Jan 6: Mayor Srinagar Municipal Corporation Junaid Azim Mattu on Wednesday said it was highly improbable to clear “15000” lanes and by-lanes in Srinagar with spades and shovels which are actually meant for garbage collection.
“Within Srinagar, main roads and link roads are to be cleared of snow by MED and R&B Departments. SMC is tasked with clearance of nearly 7,500 lanes and by-lanes. Unofficially the number of lanes is in excess of 15,000!,” Mattu said in a statement issued here.
“Effective snow-clearance in lanes and by-lanes will remain improbable till SMC is equipped with adequate, modern snow-clearing machines,” he said in the statement also shared by the Mayor on his twitter handle.
“The tradition is to make-do with JCBs and loaders and spades and shovels – which aren’t meant for snow-clearance and are equipped for routine garbage collection operations.”
He said SMC has less than 15 JCBs and loaders. “Srinagar has at least 10,000 lanes that need snow clearance! The mathematics itself is improbable. For effective snow clearance one JCB/loader will have to clear around 700 lanes and by-lanes a day to complete the task within 24 hours,” he said, adding, “In a functional work day of 12 hours – that is one lane a minute. Factually it takes one machine 20 minutes to clear one lane. The mismatch between our requirement and available machines/manpower is astronomical.”
Around a year or more ago, he said, the SMC F&P Committee had approved his proposal for the procurement of 25 4×4 snow-clearance machines with imported snow-blades and Road salting dispensers.
“Funds have been available …(however) for some strange reason, the procurements weren’t made. On assuming office for my second term, I immediately sought a review of these crucial procurements but due to a shift from Bharat-5 to Bharat-6 emission grading, we couldn’t procure the machines this last month,” he said, adding, “I will ensure these crucial vehicles are procured – speedily, transparently.”
Images of snow being cleared with spades, shovels and JCBs should be an embarrassment in the present day and age, he added.” To me – it surely is an embarrassment. Our field workers deserve dignity and respect and as such deserve modern equipment for mechanized snow clearance.”