Killer quake revisits peoples’ memory
OCTOBER 8, 2005
Karnah, Oct 7: Five years have passed since the devastating earthquake struck both parts of divided Kashmir killing thousands of people, maiming scores others and destroying property worth crores.
The people here are still remembering October 8, 2005 when quake struck at 9: 20 AM and flattened many residential areas leaving the people in dire straits. The strong quake devastated several areas of Pakistan Administered Kashmir, killed thousands of people and damaged innumerable structures including residential and commercial business establishments.
In Kashmir, the areas of Uri and Karnah were worst affected where scores of people lost their lives and property worth crores was razed to ground.
In Karnah, 311 people were killed and thousands were wounded. Bodies of scores of people, reports said were still untraced and despite repeated efforts of the district administration, they haven’t been retrieved from dense forests and mountainous ranges. The indifference of government towards the affected could be gauged from the fact that 5 per cent of the people in Karnah have yet to receive the second installment (Rs 60,000) of the relief and they are seen visiting the DC and SDM offices to get their due payments. “We have been doing rounds of government offices for the second installment, but the officials make hollow promises,” the people told Greater Kashmir adding that some were yet to receive the first installment of the relief.
However, according to an official of Revenue Department, those who hadn’t received the relief, their files were still pending and the process was on.
The earthquake also destroyed the educational institutions forcing the students to study under open sky. Both the Centre and state government, under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan started construction on 104 schools, out of which in Karnah block, only 80 per cent of the construction work on buildings had been completed. There are 20 per cent school buildings on which the work is going on at snails pace and the children are still taking classes under the open sky.
The Chief Education Officer, Kupwara H S Bali said under SSA, construction on 90 per cent schools had been completed and work on school buildings constructed in remote corners was going on. He said the work on school buildings constructed by R&B department was going on at snails pace while the work on school building in remote areas was slow as the agencies were facing hardships in dispatching the construction material to these areas.
Bali however assured that the construction on these schools would be expedited.
After the quake, the government had promised to give Rs 75,000 for the person who was handicapped for life and Rs 5,000 to the one who was wounded in the tremor. “None of the wounded has received any money,” some of the wounded told Greater Kashmir.
In Karnah, Fatima of Gandi Gujrah, Naseema Begum of Badrkote and Tasleem Nusrat of Tanghdar are still bed ridden as they had suffered injuries in their back and leg.
Naseema Begum’s husband, Manzoor Ahmad Khokar told Greater Kashmir that they hadn’t received a single penny from the government. He said seven women in Karnah had been handicapped and their relief files were lying in the DC office.
Scores of shops were destroyed in Karnah and the government had assured the victims that their loans would be waved off. “The government is yet to fulfill its promise,” the shopkeepers said.
Beopar Mandal Karnah President, Abdul Rahim Mir said, “Prior to quake, the shopkeepers had started their business after getting loans from the Bank. They are still indebted to the bank and had taken up other jobs to make their ends meet,” he said.
The contractors here haven’t also received any payment for their works and they are still visiting government offices to get the bills cleared. Muhammad Maqbool Qureshi, a contractor told Greater Kashmir that he had completed works on irrigation schemes, but the government hadn’t released any payment.
Six people of Karnah are still missing since 2005. The families of missing persons are still searching for their beloved.
MLA Karnah Kafeel-ul-Rehman acknowledged that 5 per cent of the affected hadn’t received the second installment of relief. He said the wounded persons hadn’t also received any relief and the government promises had proved a mere hoax. He asked the government to fulfill the promises made to the affected after the earthquake.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 7 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 7 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 8 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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