Cold wave conditions have intensified in Chenab Valley, following fresh snowfall in the higher reaches, with spells reported from Dessa Valley, Kailash Kund, Daksum, Margan Top, Machail and Bhaderwah, among other places.
The cold wave has affected normal life in most villages in the higher reaches, including Doda, Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Banihal, Ramban and Batote, where people are facing acute shortage of water due to damage to water supply lines.
Villagers have alleged that in spite of the pipelines being damaged for the past many days, authorities have still not taken any action to repair them and restore the supply.
Villager Showkat Ali told HT, "I have requested public health engineering (PHE) authorities to restore the water supply pipeline, but in spite of one week having passed since the complaint, no department official has visited the area."
Kishtwar's Sewa Ram alleged, "I have to bring water from a far-off place as the supply pipe was damaged during snowfall. I have lodged a complaint with the local PHE officials, but nothing has been done so far."
Semina village resident Piyare Lal alleged that lodging a complaint with the department was "useless, as nobody was taking the complaints seriously". "The officials are least concerned about the plight of the people. They are not performing their duties with dedication, and focusing only on minting money," he alleged.
According to reports from some of the snow-bound areas, people are facing problems due to shortage of ration and other essential commodities.
While the departments concerned in Doda have claimed that sufficient stocks of ration, kerosene oil and other items had been ensured, in some parts of Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, Gondho and Bhalessa, people are facing acute shortage of kerosene oil and ration, and are demanding that these be supplied immediately.
People in various villages have also alleged that link roads have not been restored after the snowfall, bringing life to a standstill.
Ahsan Ahmed Paray of Gondho village alleged, "Our Gondho link road has been closed for the last 15 days. In spite of several complaints, the authorities have done nothing to restore it."
Muthi Marmat's Mujib ur Rehman Razdan said, "We have suffered the most due to the bad condition of the road. The Marmat Goha, Balgran, Behotta Mangotta and various other link roads are in a bad condition after the heavy snowfall, but the authorities concerned are not paying any attention. We have made several representations to the Doda district development commissioner, but nothing has been done so far. We have decided to launch a dharna against the department."