Kashmir in Darkness, Early Winter Brings More Woes

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Power supply to essential services including hospitals, water supply units and government offices across the valley remained snapped through Thursday and Friday following the snowfall.

Zafar Aafaq | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI — Darkness enveloped entire Kashmir Valley for two nights due to massive power disruptions, and life remains crippled, as a consequence of untimely snowfall.

The power outage has hit life in the Valley even as it was struggling to cope with a three-months-long shutdown after the abrogation of Article 370 by the Union Government on August 5. Power supply to essential services including hospitals, water supply units and government offices across the valley remained snapped through Thursday and Friday following the snowfall.

As a result, the SMHS Hospital in Srinagar postponed surgeries. Machines were being run on backups and generator support. In far off villages, the health services came to a halt in several respects. “The hospital is without power and there is no fuel to operate a generator,” a doctor at a rural hospital in Kupwara village said.

People were having a tough time, fetching drinking water from public wells and taps because the motors did not work.  The authorities said they were working on restoration of the services. Most roads and streets in Srinagar were inundated with water from snow and rain. The drains were clogged and many localities faced water-logging. Residents complained that the administration was not being prompt in pumping the water out.

By late evening, power supply was restored in some posh colonies in the Civil Lines area near the airport. The dip in mercury affected the commercial activities in Lalchowk, the city centre. Most traders chose to stay indoors and the dimly-lit market did not have much visitors due to the prevailing situation.

Reporters in Kashmir could not file their stories on Thursday as  internet facility at the Media Facilitation Centre remained disrupted after snow damaged the internet cable fibre.  The internet link was briefly restored there Friday afternoon. A total ban exists on data services in Kashmir, restricting the ability of the people to communicate. Journalists also faced difficulty doing their work. The media facilitation centre was set up a week ago for them to access the net after the communication links were snapped by the authorities since August.

(With inputs from Khursheed Ahmad in Kashmir)

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