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In Downtown, locals volunteer to keep life going as administration goes ‘missing’.

A day after summer capital witnessed first snowfall of season, residents and traders of historic downtown accused state authorities of failing to restore services and ensure dewatering in several Downtown localities.

At many places roads and inner lanes had turned into cesspool owing to water logging resulting from accumulation of snow, making pedestrian movement difficult. While people accused authorities of delaying dewatering of the areas, a snow clearance machine was seen moving “aimlessly” throughout the day on Nalamar road though the few inches of snow received yesterday had already melt.

“It isn’t a surprise for us that administration is in slumber. We have been facing problems every winter,” said Muhammad Shafi Koul, a footwear shop owner at Zaina Kadal, as he pointed towards water that had got accumulated in front of his shop on large patch of road, owing to defunct drainage system.

Koul said he wondered “what would have been the situation if it had snowed few inches more”.

At many places locals were aiding PDD linemen in rectifying damaged electric lines in lanes and by lanes of downtown. At one such spot in Zaina Kadal, lineman Mohammad Amin was helped by locals in fixing damaged power lines.

“I have a vast area to look out for including Bazaar Masjid, Bohri Kadal, Gadi Kocha, Gadi Bazaar and Zainakadal. These men realize my work load,” said Amin.

At several spots along Nalamar road tree branches had fallen on the road, restricting the movement. When authorities concerned didn’t turn up till afternoon, locals took the task of clearing the road unto themselves.

“We couldn’t have waited for administration to act as road was blocked since morning,” said a group of youth near Sekidafar auto stand.

At other places heaps of garbage was seen lying unattended, making it difficult for locals to pass in lanes and by lanes.

Chairman Traders Federation of Shar-e-Khaas, Nazir Ahmad Shah expressed his resentment over administration’s “failure” to handle few inches of snow.“They should have already geared up for the situation as it is expected to snow any time during winter months. Every year we have been hearing administration making tall claims about winter preparedness which remains limited to paper only. The implementation on ground remains zero,” said Shah.

Stating that entire downtown suffered power breakdown Shah claimed that even patients were treated under candle light in Gousia Hospital and JLNM hospital.

President Shar-e-Khaas Committee, Bashir Ahmad Kennu said it was surprising to see administration caught unprepared to handle few inches of snow. “There is no electricity and complaints of water logging are pouring in from several areas,” he said.  SMC Commissioner, Peerzadah Hafeezullah, however claimed that department’s men were on the job.

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