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Weatherman predicts heavy to very heavy snowfall at isolated places till Jan 06



427 electricity feeders develop technical snag, CE PDD says 382 repaired, complete restoration by tomorrow; melting snow indicates roads, residential areas, SMC says men machinery pressed to clear roads

Owais Gul

Srinagar, Jan 04: Normal life remained paralyzed on Monday after Kashmir received moderate snowfall while the weatherman here has predicted heavy to very heavy snowfall at scattered places across the Valley till January 06. The moderate snowfall in most parts of the Valley also triggered slippery conditions of the roads, resulting in immense hardships to the commuters.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, world famous ski-resort, Gulmarg and other tourist destinations experienced fresh snowfall today, bringing the temperature further down.

Director Meteorological department (MeT), Sonum Lotus told the news agency—KNO that the prevailing weather conditions would continue till January 06 across J&K and Ladakh Union Territories. He added that as predicted, most parts of the Valley received moderate snowfall early Monday morning.

He said that there is a forecast of heavy to very heavy snowfall at scattered places till Wednesday, adding that the weather conditions would start improving from January 06 afternoon.

The MeT Director had already issued warning to the people living in higher reaches not to venture out during the snowfall to avoid any untoward incident and had also predicted that the fresh spell of snow would lead to the closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway.

MeT spokesman while divulging the details said that Srinagar recorded 13.4 cm snowfall till 08:00AM in the morning while Qazigund received snowfall of 51.7cms, adding that Pahalgam, Kupwara, Kokernag and Gulmarg received 21.0 cm, 3.5 cm, 32 cm and 3.8 cm snowfall respectively till 08 AM today. He said from morning 8:00AM till 5:00 PM, Qazigund and Gulmarg received 0.8 cm and 1.5cm snowfall respectively.

He added that Drass was coldest where temperature settled at minus 15.0 degree Celsius, adding that Srinagar, the summer capital of J&K recorded temperature of minus 0.9 degree Celsius last night.

Meanwhile, the melting of snow later inundated the roads, lanes and bi-lanes across Srinagar and other areas of the Valley, thus leaving the commuters as well as pedestrians to suffer at large. The slippery conditions of the roads triggered by the fresh snowfall added to the miseries commuters today, eyewitnesses said.

People especially in Old City areas had to face hardships today as the melting of snow inundated almost every lane and bi-lane in the residential areas, locals said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Srinagar Municipal Corporation Junaid Azim Mattu held a meeting to take stock of the post snowfall work mechanism from various line departments to assess the situation in the Srinagar city on various fronts.

During the meeting, Commissioner SMC Gazanfar Ali informed Mayor that atleast 3000 sanitation workers are on job since yesterday early morning to clear up the snow from lanes and bylanes in the city, besides snow clearance drive is being taken up in Hospitals, Religious places, Ration Depots, vital roads, Major Markets , city centre and other important stretches.

Besides utilisation of manpower, twenty JCBs, Roberts and on the snow clearance machines were put on job, a statement issued to KNO reads. While taking review of Drainage wing, it was informed that all the 85 permanent dewatering stations were fully functional and 32 mobile pumps were deputed in low lying / vulnerable spots in Srinagar City.

Besides, the fresh snowfall also affected the electricity in many areas across Kashmir, thus leaving forcing the people to face hardships.

Chief Engineer, Power Development Department (PDD), Aijaz Ahmad Dar told KNO a total of 80 transformers got damaged due to the snowfall while many among them have been lifted from the spot. “We have adequate stock available and the damaged transformers will be replaced soon,” he said.

He also said since this morning a total of 427 feeders remain affected due to snowfall while the men and machinery already pressed managed to repair 382 feeders, adding that 20-25 feeders will be restored till late evening. “In case the snowfall stops, all the remaining feeders will be repaired till tomorrow,” he said, adding that the electricity across the Valley will be restored till tomorrow.

Dar also said that minor damages to electricity poles were also reported. He further said that a call centre has also been established recently by the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, which helped the department to get complaints from the ground. He appealed people to contact on 6006613506, 6006613507, 6006613508, 6006613509, 6006613510 numbers in case of any complaint.

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Ganderbal residents raise concern over rise in stray dogs



(Asian News Hub) – The increasing numbers of stray dogs in Ganderbal district have become a cause of grave concern for the inhabitants of the district who are not able to move around freely.

Locals of several villages in Ganderbal told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the situation has turned into a serious problem with concerned authorities turning a deaf ear to the public outcry.

Also Read: Manpower shortage mars SMC: Against requirement of 7000 sweepers, corporation has only 2700

Locals said that herds of dogs can be seen on the prowl at various areas of the district and sub district.

“The increasing number of stray dogs are posing a grave threat to the life of people and the movement of people, especially children, elders and women has become difficult during morning and evening hours,” locals said.

People have alleged that the steep rise in dog population was due to their transportation from urban areas during night hours and have appealed to the concerned authorities to tackle the menace at an earliest so that people heave a sigh of relief.

Inhabitants alleged that the authorities are doing nothing to control the menace.

“Scores of dogs are seen on the prowl at various areas of the district including busy markets of Kangan, Ganderbal and other places,” they said.

Locals said it has become difficult during morning and evening hours to move at ease.

“We are living under threat due to the dog menace. We cannot move freely on roads and go to mosques during wee hours,” said Wani Bilal, a local resident of Ganderbal.

He said that our school going children are vulnerable to attacks by stray dogs which forced us to stop them from attending school.

Locals said that municipal authorities have failed to look into the matter despite repeated requests to them.

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Manpower shortage mars SMC: Against requirement of 7000 sweepers, corporation has only 2700



Corporation mulls to outsource sanitation, approval sent for necessary action: Dy Mayor

(Asian News Hub) – The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is facing an acute shortage of manpower with officials stating it has sent an approval to the concerned authorities to outsource the sanitation in Srinagar.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the officials said that SMC requires a total of 7000 sweepers, but it unfortunately has only 2700, which means the corporation is facing shortage of over 60 percent shortage.

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They said that with the shortage of the manpower, the sanitation has finally got affected, besides pushing the existing manpower to the wall.

“The amount of garbage being lifted per day has also increased as against a total of 300 tons per day, the SMC is lifting 650 tons of garbage every day from Srinagar including its outskirts,” the officials said.

They said that there is a need to increase the manpower to ensure that the sanitation is not affected and the safayi karamcharis are not overburdened.

Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor SMC, Parvaiz Qadri, when contacted admitted the shortage of manpower, saying that such is the situation that the representatives from every wards is suggesting to go for outsourcing of sanitation process here in Srinagar as the fewer number of sweepers are not able to cater all the areas with corporation’s jurisdiction.

He also informed that the corporation has sent an approval to the Executive Committee with regard to the outsourcing of sanitation in Srinagar.

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Plastic Factory gutted in midnight blaze at SIDCO Pulwama



(Asian News Hub) – A plastic factory was reduced to ashes in industrial area of SIDCO Lassipora in Pulwama district in a massive fire that broke out on Monday late night.

Reports reaching the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that the fire broke out at the factory namely ‘Stalwart plastics’ on Monday at around 10 PM and engulfed the whole factory.

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Officials said that 44 RR headquarter, which is near the factory rushed to the spot to douse the fire, adding that the fire tenders from defence forces were also roped in to douse the flames.

They said that on priority, the civilians were evacuated and then team of Army, police and fire and emergency started operation to control the fire.

They said that the fire was doused after almost two-hour-long operation, adding that no loss of life has been reported while the industry was reduced to ashes while the cause of fire is being ascertained.

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