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January 10, 2010

Heavy snowfall disrupts life in Kashmir

     Srinagar: Heavy snowfall has disrupted normal life in Kashmir Valley and made transportation precarious, one of the worst affected areas being the Shopian district. As on Sunday this area was experiencing continuous snowfall for the last one week. The main roads and link roads of Shopian are blocked. Among the badly hit are the patients in need of medical attention since transportation has literally come to a standstill due to the snow blocked roads. Locals said the intensity of the snowfall this season has been unprecedented and unexpected. "This time the snowfall has been intense; we have seen nothing like this before. People are isolated and are facing serious problem; ailing persons are in need of medical attention, which is hardly available," said Wali Mohammad, a local. The police and army personnel are trying to contain the situation by speeding up the snow clearance operation. Medical teams are being sent to specific locations to attend to the needs of the ailing. Shopian Deputy Superintendent of Police Mukesh Kumar said: "We have formed a team of volunteers in this area. The team comprises of 30 policemen and around 45 civilian volunteers. We were informed that in certain areas, the problem is more profound as the snowfall had been intense." "We have sent a team. Now, the team of medical volunteers is trying to access the people in need. Roads are in a sorry state and we are trying to salvage the condition. We are making advances and the medical team would be camping there," he added. Reportedly, the layer of snow in many villages is as think as five inches and the authorities have cleared the roads up to 30 kilometres from district headquarters.
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