National Conference on Friday said the eviction drive against Jhelum dwellers will push them into the state of deprivation and destitution, saying it was a matter of regret that the government was evicting them without any rehabilitation and resettlement plan in place.
“It is regrettable to see the administration coming up with a plan to evict Jhelum dwellers without any re-housing and rehabilitation plan in place for them,” said the party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar.
He said the measure will hit them hard as the poor lot ekes out their living from the river itself.
“A good chunk of them is engaged in small-time occupations in and around the course of Jhelum. These people live by hand to mouth, and are landless. Evicting them without a proper rehabilitation and resettlement plan will push them towards destitution and subject them to the vagaries of weather. Where are these families supposed to go with their diminutive belongings and household items,” asked Imran.
He said the administration before taking such a harsh step should have thought about its consequences on the poor families especially the women, children and elderly.
“Such drastic measures are not taken in isolation, there ought to be a comprehensive plan in place for the affected. Unfortunately administration is resorting to high handedness in administrative matters as well. It is unacceptable in an ideal democratic setup and defiant of universal human rights,” he said.
Imran said such eviction drives have been carried out previously as well with a proper rehabilitation and resettlement plan in place to save the dwellers from suffering on the account of destitution, unemployment and vagaries of weather.
“These people with nowhere to go will put up slums in the adjoining areas and add up to the challenges faced by urban life in Srinagar as the river stretch from Sempura to Sumbal largely falls within its municipality limits. The measure should be put on hold until a comprehensive rehabilitation and resettlement plan is developed. Seizing the humble shelters of the poor lot is also appalling amid the prevailing COVID19 crises. I anticipate a compassionate action of government in this regard,” he said.