Div Adm Gears Up As Weathermen Forecast Severe Weather Week
Observer News Service
SRINAGAR: Kashmir is heading for a week of severe weather with moderate to heavy snowfall and rain within the next 48 hours due to western disturbances (WDs) intensifying over the region on Wednesday.
The meteorological department forecast light to moderate rain or snow in the plains of the Kashmir division on Thursday and Friday, and moderate to heavy snowfall or rain over the Pir Panjal ranges, a few places at Ladakh and the higher reaches of the Jammu region during the period.
Originating in the Arabian sea, the western disturbances will intensify for seven days over Jammu and Kashmir from Wednesday, and remain mainly active on Thursday and Friday, a spokesman of the meteorological department said, adding that the weather system is likely to disrupt surface and air transport in the region during the period.
The forecast comes amid a fresh spell of snow in Gulmarg, the Razdan Pass in Bandipur, and the Karnah, Tangdhar, Machil, Kandi, Sadhna Top areas in the north, together with Pahalgam, Kokernag, Wayil, Kulgam and the hilly areas of Shopian in the south.
Kashmir plains have been experiencing intermittent rain since morning.
The meteorological department has asked people living in hilly and high altitude areas to restrict movement in view of snowfall forecast over the next 48 hours.
Rain and snowfall in the higher reaches have heightened the risk of avalanches and landslides, the deputy director of the regional meteorological centre here, AK Zargar, said, advising extreme caution in movement along the Srinagar-Jammu highway and high-risk routes as well.
DIVISIONAL ADMINISTRATION GEARS UP
The divisional administration has put civil and police authorities on alert across Kashmir, and kept over a hundred snow-clearing machines at the ready to face the approaching weather system, the head of Kashmirs disaster management cell, Aamir Ali said this evening.
Municipalities, local bodies and civil defence volunteers have been issued instructions under a Snow Clearance Plan, and a central control room set up in Srinagar by the chief engineer of the Mechanical Engineering Department will function round the clock, the officer said.
The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon has directed all Deputy Commissioners, Head of Departments and District Sr. Superintendents of Police to activate their men and machinery to be in a state of preparedness, so as to ensure minimum disruption of essential services, he said.
One hundred and one snow clearance machines of Mechanical Engineering Deptt which include 71 snow ploughs, 19 snow cats, 10 snow cutters and 1 dozer, will be pressed into service to clear snow from major black topped roads of Valley. The snow clearance machines have already been placed at various headquarters in North, South and Central Kashmir. 35 machines have been kept at Central Snow Control Room for Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts. 30 machines have been deployed for Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama.
Similarly, 36 machines for Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora, which also include one snow cutter, one plough and one dozer deployed in Gurez Sub-Division, 4 cutters and 4 ploughs at Gulmarg. Besides this, Gulmarg Development Authority also has one snow cutter. Snow clearance operation will start, as soon as the depth of snow exceeds 4 inches and the clearance will be done as per Snow Clearance Plan, already formulated. Chief Engineer, Mechanical Engineering Kashmir has established a Central Snow Control Room at Srinagar, which is functioning round the clock and the contact number is 0194-2497458.
Chief Engineer R&B Kashmir has also kept his men and machinery in a state of readiness to clear snow from major district roads, with the help of tractors, JCBs and manually. Instructions have been given to all Executive Engineers of R&B to ensure removal of any fallen trees that may block the roads. Chief Engineer Beacon has been asked to keep machinery in a state of readiness, to clear snow from the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and ensure that the Highway remains open, he said.
Commissioner SMC Srinagar has also been directed to ensure that all dewatering stations are kept in running condition and will also ensure manual snow clearance from lanes and drains in the city. Similarly Director Local Bodies has been asked to activate the municipal committees of various towns to ensure snow clearance in major towns.
Chief Engineer Electric Maintenance Kashmir has been asked to ensure that there is minimum disruption of electricity and in case of any unavoidable disruption the restoration be done immediately and priority will be given to essential services, including hospitals, PHE installations, electric grids etc. Civil Defence Volunteers have been asked to assist the administration in snow clearance wherever required. Director CAPD Kashmir has been asked to ensure adequate essential supplies especially LPG and Kerosene Oil, he said.
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