SAMosa Takes

Snow pangs

Minor snowfall of few inches has again brought the focus on the lack of preparedness to avert the disasters.  The power lines have been snapped due to which the electricity supply has been hit in major parts of Kashmir while the snow clearance work has been sluggish.

Dec 14, 2017

Minor snowfall of few inches has again brought the focus on the lack of preparedness to avert the disasters.  The power lines have been snapped due to which the electricity supply has been hit in major parts of Kashmir while the snow clearance work has been sluggish. Many of the areas have remained cut off due to the snowfall despite the promise made by the state government that it had taken steps to meet any eventuality.  The divisional administration had earlier issued a weather advisory asking the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of Kashmir division to take the precautionary measures in their respective districts. The DCs as well as the police chiefs of the different districts were asked to mobilize the manpower to minimize disruption of essential services, restore road connectivity and electric supply during snowfall.  The Divisional Administration had asked the police to establish helpline numbers in every district as well as in Police Control Room Kashmir. But these measures have not yielded anything. State government has not learnt the lessons from previous disasters. Across Kashmir the power transmission and distribution network has not been upgraded for years due to which network lines get snapped even by a minor snowfall. The lack of proper power infrastructure was also admitted by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh in a meeting recently. He called upon making efforts to reduce the transmission and distribution losses by up gradation of the power infrastructure. Even before the snowfall, there have been complaints from the people about the unscheduled power cuts which have been due to lack of proper distribution network. Work on projects like the commissioning of Alasteng grid station have been going on for a long time, while a project to upgrade the power infrastructure in Srinagar city has dragged for years. The government needs to sort out issues related to the acquisition of land which has been flagged as a main concern for the delay in setting up of power infrastructure.  The work on the distribution and transmission projects has been going on at snail’s pace. Due to the lack of facilities also at the Srinagar airport two flights were cancelled after the snowfall. A concerted effort needs to be made to improve the response during calamities or routine snowfall. Government was caught napping in the floods in 2014 which caused massive damage to public and private infrastructure. It has failed to put in place an adequate disaster response force and to ensure that people are spared from the inconveniences.

Read More: http://www.risingkashmir.com/news/snow-pangs

Rising Kashmir, December 13, 2017

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