SRINAGAR: Amid complaints of non-clearance of roads, the City Mayor, Junaid Azim Mattu Thursday said that 15 JCBs and loaders are the only equipments to clear 15,000 lanes across Srinagar.

SMC Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Thursday, January 7, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

“It is embarrassing to see the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) men clearing snow with shovels,” Mattu said while addressing a news conference at his office here.

Mattu while admitting that SMC and other two departments clearing the snow on roads could have done better, urged Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to ascertain why the situation turned ugly on the ground following heavy snowfall. “I respect LG as he believes in delivering. I will also write a letter to him to ascertain why it took a long to clear the snow on roads,” he said.

He added the response by the three departments including Mechanical Engineering department, Roads and Building and SMC could have been better and there is no doubt over it.

However, he said that as far as SMC is concerned, the corporation has only 12-15 JCBs and loaders to deal with the situation after a snowfall. “It is unfortunate that 15 JCBs and loaders are supposed to clear 15,000 lanes across Srinagar,” he said.

Commending SMC men for done a great job on the ground, Mattu said, “It is embarrassing to see the SMC men clearing roads with shovels. Soon after I assumed that charge as Mayor, I have asked for the procurement of 25 snow clearance machines, but unfortunately, I don’t know why the machines were not procured despite having sufficient funds available,” he said.

He added that had machines been procured, the SMC would have been able to clear the snow within 24 hours across Srinagar. “Srinagar, the face of Jammu and Kashmir has been neglected from the last 40 years. But, as long as I am here as Mayor, I will push for systemic reforms in SMC,” he said.

“It is a bitter truth that the corporation is ill-equipped. A few hammers, shovels, JCBs and loaders are the only equipment corporation has,” he said, adding that there is a need to beyond brooms and handcarts.

“I will push for the procurement of machines yet again and will name and shame those officials who are sitting on the papers for no reasons,” he added.


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