Snowfall Day 09: Outdated machines, lone snow cutter fails to clear roads
Shopian: The existing snow clearance machines are proving inadequate both in number as, well as in capacity as around 10 percent roads are yet to be cleared in Shopian district, local sources said.
Locals from many areas of Shopian continued to lament the lack of preparedness on the part of the authorities, despite the forecast of heavy snowfall by the meteorological department during the past week.
“It hasn’t snowed for the first time but authorities have completely failed to clear the roads in Shopian due to which locals are facing lot of problems,” Ayaz Ahmad, a local said.
He said that besides the lack of preparedness and dearth of machines, the snow that came down from roof tops, especially the houses right next to roads, has created problems for the government machinery.
An official associated with the snow clearance said that that they had to clear the roads thrice due to the snow that keeps sliding down from roofs and accumulates on the roads.
Interestingly, the heaps of snow piled on the roads have meant that the decades old machinery is not able to clear the roads effectively.
A senior official of the Mechanical Engineering department said that all the machines they operate for snow clearance have become dysfunctional and they have not been able to clear the massive snow that has accumulated.
He said that we have around 600 km roads in Shopian but the capacity of the single snow cutter is just one kilometre in an hour.
“Our JCB machines can’t clear snow from roads when it is over 2.5 feet, he said, adding that our infrastructure is out dated and we are still forced to use machines which we were using in the early 90’s.
Assistant Executive Engineer , Mechanical engineering department for Pulwama, Shopian said that since Jan 03, they have been continuously working to clear the roads in Shopian district.
He said that out of 600 Kms road length around 95 percent roads have been cleared and rest will be cleared within few days.
“We brought two snow cutters from Mughal road division after their proper permission as well, otherwise it would have taken more time and hopefully all roads will be cleared by tomorrow,” he added.