Srinagar traffic in mess as admin fails to clear snow

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Srinagar: The administration’s failure to clear the roads in the aftermath of snowfall lead to widespread traffic jams in the Srinagar city on Monday – a week after the heavy snowfall began which had continued for several days.

The residents in Srinagar are saying that the administration has not been able to clean the snow-covered roads yet, causing difficulties for commuters.

Massive traffic jams across the city irked the commuters, waiting to reach their destinations. “Because of roads being blocked by snow, it took an auto – I was traveling in – two hours to reach the destination,” said a resident of Bhag-e-Mehtab. “Usually it hardly takes half an hour for me to reach Lal Chowk.”

Kashmir recorded frequent snowfall spells last week that affected the air traffic and vehicular movement as well. Following the snowfall, the Srinagar administration had issued an urgent appeal to the public to avoid using private vehicles and other non-essential transportation for the time being to facilitate unhindered snow-clearance operation.

However, very little implementation has been seen on the ground, where people are complaining about difficulties that they are facing because the roads are still packed with snow.

The commuters complained that even on the stretches that never see traffic congestion witnessed huge jams, “I have never seen such traffic jam on Lal-Bazar to Lal Chowk stretch. This is insane, the administration is a complete failure. It is taking an hour to cross five minutes distance. There are no traffic regulators either,” a resident of Lal Bazar traveling to Lal Chowk said.

For another commuter traveling from the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital road, to cover a hundred-meter distance in an auto, took them half an hour.

Meanwhile, speaking to The Kashmir Walla a number of distraught commuters said that massive traffic jams are being witnessed on different stretches of the city including Karanagar hospital road, Soura, Qamarwari, Bhag-e-Mehtab to Lal Chowk, Jahangir Chowk to Batamaloo,  Bemina Byepass to Chattabal crossing, Lal Bazar to Lal chowk including downtown interiors.

Talking to The Kashmir Walla, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Traffic Javid Ahmad Koul blamed the snow-covered roads for traffic jams. “It’s actually the slow movement of the vehicles as the snow has been cleared only partially.” He said.

Junaid Azim Mattu, the Mayor of Srinagar on Thursday, had said that the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) lacks the equipment to instantly deal with heavy snowfall.

He had said that the SMC has only 12-15 JCBs and loaders to deal with the situation after a snowfall. “It is unfortunate that 15 JCBs and loaders are supposed to clear 15,000 lanes across Srinagar.”

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