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J&K: One year after flood victims cries for relied and rehabilitation

By Saleem Iqbal Qadri

Srinagar, Sept 7 : Ravaged by the floods last year, people of Kashmir are slowly trying to recover from the devastation they had witnessed and return to previous glory even as the victims of the natural calamity still waits for trillion corer package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

A year has passed since the floods had severely hit humanity in the north Indian state last year.

In the devastating September 2014 floods of Jammu and Kashmir that affected 1.4 million people and killed 400, the overall estimated loss by the government was Rs one trillion.

“I saw my house were damaged in flood in front of me. My family left the house few minutes before water entered into the house,” one Ashiq Ahmad of Rajbagh told IBNS.

Another resident of Jawahar Nagar area of the city which collapsed in the flood that struck Kashmir and some parts of Jammu in the first week of September last year, Ali Mohammad said, “When our locality was damaged by floods, how is it possible for us to construct house by receiving Rs. 70,000 from the state government”.

“When we were asked to submit damaged report in the office of Revenue, then concern Patwari’s asked us for bribe to enter his name in the relief list, and we saw some political agents then inside and outside Revenue Department who demands money from flood suffered people,” said the victim.

75- year- old Ghulam Hassan narrated his story of devastation with moist eyes and looking towards place where his original house was damaged in Indira Nagar area of Srinagar.

He said, “I personally visited Deputy Commissioner Office Srinagar to check the status of list.”

He said he was surprised when he did not get his name in the list.

“I was told that when you will pay some penny to patwari and other officials then you will get relief,” said Ghulam Hassan.

Thousands of people in Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Wazir Bagh, Gogjibagh, Rambagh, Solina, Barzalla, Chanapora, Bemina, Natipora, Nowpora, Karan Nagar, Shetrashshi and Qamarwari areas hurriedly left their homes, leaving behind everything they had put together in their nests.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited Jammu and Kashmir to survey the flood situation, called the natural calamity a national level disaster and assured to stand by the people of the region even as the situation worsened from the fury of the nature that is worst since 1957.

Taking dig on Prime Minister’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir in Oct 2014, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Ghulam Ahmad Mir in opposition told IBNS that “Modi announced Rs.745 crore relief for rebuilding damaged homes and hospitals in the state which was badly hit by floods in September.”

“Why it takes one year to rebuild the Kashmir again,” he said.

Mir also said that the state and the central government have failed to address the woes of the people who lost everything in last year’s devastating floods.

“Compared to the UPA government which had given to the victims in Uttrakhand and the earthquake victims of Kashmir, this government has rubbed salt on the wounds of the flood victims,” he said.

September flood left thousands of shops in Srinagar in lurch for relief as they were promised by the state government that they will receive good package from government.

Kashmir economics alliance, a conglomerate of trade unions, who called for complete shutdown on first anniversary of flood as Kashmir is still awaiting for flood relief.

A of party leader said, “We want to ask the PM, if he did not had funds, why did he reject the help from the International community. The economy of the Kashmir has reached to zero in the last one year.”

The strike called has been supported by Kashmir Separatist leaders, opposition party National Conference, Congress, and other trade unions to protest against the alleged failure of the government to rehabilitate victims.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh had said that a big financial package will soon be sanctioned to the state for the rehabilitation of the affected people.

He said the financial package would be bigger than the Rs 44,000 crore package proposed by the previous government.

Jammu and Kashmir government is planning to mark Sept 7 as “Revival day”.

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