Barely an hour after the season’s first snowfall in Kashmir, power supply went off while as road and air traffic was suspended across the region. The entire region including Srinagar city got enveloped under the white carpet due to the season’s first snowfall that was heavy in nature.However, on the very first day of the snowfall, four persons lost their lives including a pedestrian, who died after he came under a tree branch at Habbak area of Srinagar outskirts. The other two deceased included two Army porters, who died in separate incidents following heavy snowfall in Kashmir, officials told wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).They were identified as Manzoor Ahmed and Ishaq Khan, who died after coming under an avalanche near a forward post in Kupwara district. In another incident, an employee of the Power Development Department (PDD) died while trying to restore power supply, which has been disrupted by heavy snowfall in Kashmir, officials said. Manzoor Ahmad, an inspector in the PDD, fell off a pole and died on the spot. Four vehicles were also damaged in Srinagar, after tree branches fell on them. The concerned district administration has released Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia to the next of kin (NoKs) of deceased.The prediction by the Meteorological Department (MeT) about snowfall in the region proved absolutely right as after a day-long incessant rains in Kashmir including Srinagar, the entire region was wrapped with the white layer of season’s first snowfall. With the snowfall, the heavier in nature, winter has set its foot earlier this year in Kashmir triggering a series of issues that people are confronting.
According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), all the major roads, highways were closed while as air traffic was suspended due to the heavy snowfall. Witnesses said that snow clearance operation were seen nowhere till 11 am after which in some pockets of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) vehicles were seen clearing snow from the roads. “The main highways—Srinagar-Jammu and Mughal Road were closed for the traffic due to heavy snow fall. Traffic was also less on Srinagar-Muzafarabad due to the snow fall,” witnesses said. On Jammu-Srinagar highway, many vehicles were stranded as traffic authorities didn’t allow them to proceed in view of heavy snowfall.Many youth were seen enjoying the season’s first snowfall at Lal Chowk and Partap Park in Srinagar. At Boulevard area of Srinagar, many domestic and foreign tourists were also seen playing with the snowflakes on the banks of Dal Lake. “Kashmir is really a paradise. What a beautiful sight,” a group of tourists from Maharashtra told KNO.Soon after the snowfall across Kashmir, Power Development Department (PDD) snapped power supply across Kashmir as a “precautionary measure.” “We have deliberately cut the power supply across Kashmir to avoid large scale damage of high tension (HT) wires, power grids, receiving stations, and transformers. The step was also taken to avoid short circuits and damage to overall power infrastructure in Kashmir, “Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmed Khan told KNO.Meanwhile, people in various areas of Srinagar complained of black-marketing of essential commodities including LPG cylinders, vegetables, and fruit. “I went to get refill of my LPG cylinder, the shopkeeper told me to pay Rs 1000 saying roads are closed and tomorrow, rate will be Rs 2000 for the same. I had no choice other than to get the refill,” he said. Many locals called this wire service on phone and expressed their concern over the skyrocketing price of vegetables in the markets that include Hari Singh High Street, Batamaloo and Habba Kadal areas. They accused the authorities of keeping no check on the people involved in black marketing. (KNO)