SMC Lacks Machinery For Effective Clearance: Mayor
Jammu, Jan 7: People in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir Valley on Thursday accused the government of “abandoning” them to snow as most lanes and by-lanes remain blocked.
“It is more than two days since the snowfall stopped but most lanes and by-lanes are still blocked with snow,” residents of Lal Bazar area of Srinagar said. “It is not for the first time that there has been snowfall but such a callous approach was not seen in the past,” they said, adding, “The government has abandoned people to snow.”
Residents of Naribal Amda Kadal said that it is impossible to move through lanes and urged the government to think “at least about the patients.”
“God forbid if there is an exigency, the loss could be irreparable,” a resident of the area said. “It seems that both government and the people have to bank on sunshine.”
Reports regarding lanes and by-lanes remaining blocked with snow were received from almost all areas of Srinagar and other districts.
“The government is meant for people. We are not even getting milk and vegetable supplies as milkmen and vendors are unable to move load carriers,” residents of Hajibagh Buchpora area of Srinagar said. Residents of Old City including Rainawari, Zainakadal, Radpora, Bohri kadal, Eidgah, Hawal and others said that lanes continue to be blocked with snow.
Mayor Srinagar Municipal Corporation Junaid Azim Mattu said the Corporation has pressed in more machines “including those hired for the exigency for snow clearance of lanes and by-lanes.”
“With absolutely inadequate manpower and machinery, I commend SMC field staff for being out there day and night and doing their best!” he tweeted.
later addressing a press conference here, the Mayor reiterated his statement issued last night that a few JCBs and loaders were not enough to deal with the situation on the ground.
“It is a bitter reality that the Corporation is ill-equipped. A few shovels, JCBs and loaders are the only equipment the Corporation has.”
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.
“Effective snow-clearance in lanes and by-lanes will remain improbable till SMC is equipped with adequate, modern snow-clearing machines,” he said, adding, “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.”
Meanwhile, the snow was cleared from almost all main roads but traffic movement remained slow throughout the day.
“The snow clearance machines left the piles of snow at the side of the road, essentially leaving little space for traffic and resulted in traffic snarls,” people said. “The snow machines have left some two inches of snow on the roads which got frozen during the night, leading to slippery road conditions and thus made driving extremely dangerous especially during the morning,” they added.
Report from other districts said that most of the lanes and by-lanes are still clogged with snow.