Weathering the snow

Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 10 2017 10:02PM | Updated Date: Dec 10 2017 10:02PM

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has directed the divisional administration to be “in a state of preparedness” in view of the forecast for a moderate to heavy snowfall. The meteorological department  has predicted snowfall and rain in the Valley over the following two days, terming it “the first major wet spell” during the winter. The Director  Meteorological Department  Sonam Lotus has warned that the weather system may lead to disruption of surface and air transportation and trigger avalanches in upper reaches. Both the CM and the Chief Secretary B B Vyas have issued directions to the departments to gear up for the situation. And we will all hope that the administration lives up to the expectations. In past, the administration’s response to  snowstorms has largely been tardy.  Even a moderate snowfall has sometimes been too heavy to handle, ending up throwing not only life but the administration too out of gear. Being a state with long, extended winters, the administration in Kashmir is expected to have a pool of knowledge, experience and the expertise to deal with the situation. In the event of a snowfall, power and water supply are the first to be disrupted and snow clearance operations are lax.  One expects that unlike many times in the past, Power Development Department will be better prepared to deal with the  situation. The utility has usually been the target of the public vitriol, both on street and online for its inability to immediately restore electricity after Valley is snowed in.  There is a widespread belief that the PDD does not plan ahead for a snowstorm. But here is hoping that the administration pleasantly surprises us with a more efficient handling of a bad turn in weather.  A good performance this time round will be a major boost for the state government. Response to a snowstorm is always a major test of the responsiveness of the administration. It will help erase the memory of the bitter experiences in the past.

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