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Ladakh, J&K gear up to meet snowfall challenge as winter sets in

The temperature in certain areas of Ladakh drops to -30 degrees Celsius during winters.
The situation in J&K gets worse particularly in the Kashmir valley and upper reaches of Jammu when the roads get blocked due to snow and landslides.

SNS | Jammu |

The administration in the Union Territories (UTs) of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir is preparing the roadmap for meeting the challenge during snowfall for storing essential commodities as winter has set in early this year.

J&K had two bouts of snowfall and rains during past few days when electric supply was badly hit. The challenge is greater in Ladakh where ration, essential commodities, petrol, diesel, LPG and other items have to be stored for atleast six months of winter before the cold desert area gets landlocked with closure of the Srinagar—Leh and Manali—Leh highways due to heavy snow.

The temperature in certain areas of Ladakh drops to -30 degrees Celsius during winters.
The situation in J&K gets worse particularly in the Kashmir valley and upper reaches of Jammu when the roads get blocked due to snow and landslides making it difficult for truckers carrying essential supplies to reach their destinations.

The Army plays a friendly role with residents of far flung areas by providing them essentials
when the roads get closed. They also take care of the patients and at times fly them in helicopter to Srinagar for treatment.

Another major challenge before the administration of the two UTs is maintaining uninterrupted electric supply during snow and rain. Cries for making electric supply dependable during winters are already being heard from the Kashmir valley.

Preparations are also being made to maintain uninterrupted air flights from the Srinagar airport as it was a bad experience during the snow in January when flights had to be cancelled for couple of days.

It is also a general complaint that air fares from Srinagar to other destinations shoot up
when the Jammu—Srinagar highway get closed due to snow or landslides. The district administration of Srinagar on Wednesday conducted mock drill to undertake a test
drive of various snow clearing machines to check their proper functioning.

Ladakh’s commissioner secretary, PWD and Roads & Buildings, Ajeet Kumar Sahu in a meeting discussed winter preparedness in connection with the Kargil—Zanskar, Leh—Manali roads and the Zojila axis.

J&K’s chief secretary Arun Kumar told engineers of the power development department (PDD) that a vibrant, disruption free winter remains the topmost priority of the government this year. He further directed prevention of unscheduled power cuts due to overloading and formulation of proper protocol to manage scheduled power cuts. Power consumption in the valley has already increased by 12%.

The Chief Secretary stressed 24×7 power supply to tourist places, including Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Doodpathri etc so that tourists remain comfortable.

Sahu directed officers of the PWD and National Highway to identify vulnerable spots in Ladakh and keep helipads operational for emergency evacuation. He also directed the concerned officials to establish a joint control room in Kargil for coordination with Border Roads Organisation (BRO), NHIDCL and Army on the Zojila axis and Kargil-Zanskar road.

Secretary Cooperatives, Ravinder Kumar also held a meeting to discuss the operationalization of the 1000MT cooperative cold storage unit at Agling in Ladakh for stocking vegetables and other essentials.