Something is better than nothing, as the cliché goes.
Fifteen labourers have been manually clearing the ice and snow from the road beyond the Landour Gurudwara since 9 o’clock. Stationed at various spots in the Cantonment like the Mullingar climb, Char Dukan, Sister Bazaar and Circular Road the motley crew is working with spades and rakes to shovel away the slabs of ice that have been the bane of those living in Landour Cantonment. In the changed situation, they can at least get home on foot.
Speaking to Executive Office, Landour Cantonment, Abhishekh Rathore (who generously took time off from a meeting to update us) assured folks living here: “We have done all that was required within limited time and resources. We had asked for a JCB which was denied to us.”
Pushpa Padiyar, Ward Member, Landour Cantonment overseeing road clearing in her area assures me, “This is not a one-day feat. This team of labourers will be on the job until all the roads are operable again.”
As the day progressed with the sun out in all its glory, a few vehicles did manage to ply with snow-chains . That in turn made the task of cutting the ice easier.
Instead of waiting for help to arrive, communities in the vicinity from elderly people along with the young came together to clear by-lanes with whatever limited implements they could get their hands on.
For local residents like Durgesh Raturi, “This road clearing today seems more like too little too late, as the sun has been doing most of the job. Yet, I am tempted to say that the fact that I see more people venturing out now post the road clearing without slipping or sliding and hurting themselves is good to see.”
Yet, to those who live in those pretty homes on the Circular Road or the Upper Chakkar in the Cantonment, they will remain isolated in snow and ice for second day in a row. There is no where else to go, for this place is home.