The CPI(M) on Wednesday alleged that the state administration was ill-prepared for the snowfall despite prediction by the Meteorological Department, leading to massive power shutdown and road blockades in the Kashmir Valley.
“The administration was ill-prepared to cope up with the expected snowfall in the Kashmir Valley as was already predicted by the Meteorological Department,” CPI(M) Jammu and Kashmir state unit secretary M Y Tarigami said in Jammu.
Tarigami said the authorities’ tall claims about their alertness have been deflated by the massive power shutdown, road blockades, damages to water supply lines, scarcity of ration, water-logging and other difficulties faced by the people in Kashmir.
The CPI(M) MLA said although a heavy snowfall is not something new to the state given its climatic conditions and topography, the administration seems resisting change in its rusty work culture.
Referring to the problems caused to the people by the latest snowfall resulting in massive power breakdown which has plunged the entire valley into total darkness, Tarigami asked the administration to expedite the restoration of power supply in the valley, especially in Srinagar City where the people have been reeling under biting cold in absence of alternative heating arrangements.
“Most areas in north, south and central Kashmir are yet to get electricity and snow was yet to be cleared from roads,” Tarigami said.
“Snow is yet to be cleared on many roads and major road network in rural areas across the valley is yet to see traffic movement resulting in tremendous hardship to the general public. Similarly, the city is inundated under water and there seems to be no response from the Municipal Corporation to clear the roads for pedestrians,” he said.
To meet the challenges, the higher-ups in administration need to ensure better coordination between various departments especially those providing essential services.
Expressing his sympathies with those who lost their dear ones in the avalanche at Dragdan village in Kulgam district, Tarigami urged the government to compensate the bereaved families at the earliest.
He also asked the government to constitute committees to assess the losses caused to property in various parts of the valley and compensate the affected persons accordingly.
The CPI(M) leader asked the administration to act swiftly to offset hardship faced by the people in the wake of snowfall in the valley. He said the Disaster Management Committees at Divisional and district levels need to be operationalised to set the affected public delivery system back on rails.
He urged the government to ensure that there was no chaos for scarcity of essential commodities including LPG, kerosene oil and sugar.
Emergency services should be monitored and damaged power distribution lines should immediately be repaired to ensure smooth electricity supply in the valley, he said.