|It would not be long before higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir receive snowfall. Some roads going across high passes are expected to be closed. While the winter is in its infancy and snowfall has not been heavier so far, the concerned authorities may try to keep these roads open but eventually with heavier snowfall, they will get totally blocked for the winter’s almost six months. Some places like Tanghdar and Gurez in Kupwara and Bandipora district respectively get totally isolated in winter.
administration needs to hasten the processes to complete various projects that will ease sufferings of the people of the far-flung areas. In the meantime, it needs to explore the possibility for regular air connectivity and ensure infrastructure which would enable such operations so that the people of these remote areas do not suffer during harsh winter.
In a related development, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha chaired a high level meeting to review the winter preparedness of various departments across Jammu and Kashmir.
He rightly directed the officers to ensure coordinated action plans are in place for uninterrupted power and water supply, round the clock availability of public utilities, ration, medicines and other necessities. Importantly he asked every department and key stakeholders to be far better prepared for this winter than last one.
More importantly, he stressed the need to make the response system more resilient to harsh conditions. To meet the endeavor advance arrangements should be made for higher reaches and those areas where access is limited during the winters.
As also pointed out and correctly so by the Lieutenant Governor, connectivity, hospitals, power and water supply and educational institutions should be the priority of the administration.
It has been informed that Srinagar Municipal Corporation has 43 snow plough tractors and deployment plan of 3500 sanitation workers and labourers is ready.
The Airport authority and the concerned departments have been asked to share responsibility for snow clearance.
The Kashmir Valley perhaps is the only place where many things freeze, and for a long durations. There is a need for real effort to make it all smooth, at least passable. The concerned departments should factor winter in laying out the schemes or making arrangements on the ground.
All the matters having vital public importance should be given due consideration and available resources shall be mobilized effectively for greater public ease.