2 months on, windstorm victims wait for relief
Have Sent The Requisition For Funds To Govt: Div Com
Srinagar, May 12: Two months after a ravaging windstorm hit the valley killing four persons and leaving hundreds of people roofless, the state government is yet to provide relief to the victims even after having declared the storm a natural calamity.
According to official estimates over 15000 buildings were damaged in the windstorm that hit the Kashmir valley on March 21.
The windstorm victims told Greater Kashmir that the state government had forgotten its promise of providing relief to them despite having announced the same in the state Cabinet. “In these two months nobody came to us, providing relief is a far-fetched dream. When our houses were damaged the government had announced that it will take stock of the damages and provide relief but there is no response from the authorities till date,” said Muhammad Hanief, a resident of Srinagar whose house was damaged by windstorm.
Hanief said his house was completely damaged by the windstorm and it was difficult for him to rebuild it without tangible fiscal support. “I have been waiting for the government to provide the much-needed relief but it is nowhere in sight,” he said.
The houses in old city areas of Habba Kadal, Fateh Kadal, Khanaqah-e-Moula, Mahraj Gunj, Saraf Kadal, Aali Kadal and other areas including Lal Bazaar, Hazratbal, Soura, Gaw Kadal, Brein Nishat, Harwan and Dara had sustained severe damage.
Not only in city but government has yet to reach out to the people across the valley. People said they were not provided any relief yet. The districts of Bandipora, Baramulla, Kupwara, Islamabad (Anantnag), Budgam, Ganderbal had reported maximum loss due to the windstorm. However, people said no relief was provided to them. In far-off areas of these towns, the damage was not even assessed, locals said.
“The houses here are defaced and people cannot rebuild them on their own. They need some support which in fact was promised by the government. However no measure was taken,” said Ghulam Qadir Lone, a retired government employee from Bandipora.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, when contacted, said relief measures would be carried out within a week. “We have not received funds for the relief measures yet and once we get these we will release them to the concerned development commissioners of every district,” he said.
Samoon said it was the revenue department which had to release funds for the relief. “We had sent requisition to the concerned department but they did not release the funds yet. We are expecting it within a week,” the Div Com said.
Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Raman Bhalla told Greater Kashmir that relief measures for victims of windstorm would be undertaken soon. “Due to the Durbar Move it was a bit late but we will soon hold a meeting over the relief measure for these victims. It will soon be undertaken,” he said.
When asked how much amount has been earmarked and when exactly will the move be carried out, the minister dropped the phone.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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