MIRPUR: After Sunday’s much-anticipated heavy rains and snowfall, various parts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) have had to contend with a severe energy crisis developing in the region.
The problem has mainly arisen due to an acute shortage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in AJK, as the stock position claimed by the authorities has drawn skepticism from the region’s inhabitants.
Companies engaged in the supply of the LPG to various areas of AJK have cited exaggerated stocks to the government, a government official privy to the issue told The Express Tribune.
“Also, closure of highways in different parts of AJK has also hampered the delivery of LPG supplies,” he added.
Areas currently impacted by the gas shortage include Bagh, Neelam and Muzaffarabad district where traffic lies suspended due to intermittent rains and snowfall.
These were partially disconnected from the rest of the AJK, after upper reaches of Neelam and Leepa valley witnessed snowfall and inclement rains throughout last week.
Bagh district was delinked after experiencing landslides at Sudhangali, sources confirmed to The Express Tribune on Sunday.
Mirpur, meanwhile, was lashed with a heavy downpour in addition to strong windstorm, which was continuing till late Sunday, and had affected the electricity, transport and telecommunication systems in the district.
On the ‘other’ side
On the other side of the Line of Control (LoC), winters continued to pile up more snow for the weather-weary inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Srinagar-Jammu Highway was also closed off to traffic, after an overnight flurry of snow led to the Jawahar Tunnel being blocked.
Around 1.6 feet of snow was recorded near the Jawahar Tunnel alone.
The vale remained under a thick blanket of snow throughout the morning.
Srinagar received over six inches of snow according to reports coming from across the border.
However, the only variable in the equation of inclement weather for people across the LoC was that the supply of electricity remained unaffected in Indian administered Kashmir.
AJK’s people, on the other hand, had both ‘nature’ as well as hampered fuel supplies to blame for their incessant miseries of winter.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2012.