Hunzar Cloudburst | Year on, bodies of 18 missing persons untraced

Victim families awaiting compensation
Rescuers trace survivors after cloudburst hit Hunzar village of Kishtwar. [Representational Image].
Rescuers trace survivors after cloudburst hit Hunzar village of Kishtwar. [Representational Image].@igpjmu/Twitter File

Jammu: A year ago Hunzar village of Dacchan in the mountainous Kishtwar district witnessed a devastating cloudburst destroying 21 residential houses and leaving eight persons dead while 18 persons went missing.

While the rescue operation to find these 18 persons was called off after weeks of rescue operations, their bodies remained yet to be retrieved even after a year.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, the chairperson of District Development Council (DDC) Kishtwar, Pooja Thakur said that the authorities were yet to declare the 18 missing persons as “dead”.

She said that the cloud burst had displaced many persons after the destruction of their houses and the authorities were not able to trace the missing persons.

“Compensation was given to those who were declared dead. However, the victim’s family members have demanded enhancement in the compensation amount for damage to the houses and cattle shed which they said was very less,” Thakur said.

She said that she had written to the higher-ups to declare the missing persons dead but had not received any response so far.

Thakur said that she received calls from the victim families who were assured that one of their family members would be engaged as a Special Police Officer in J&K Police.

“Nothing has been done in this regard too,” she said.

Mohsin Mushtaq Waza, who is preparing for a competitive examination, was among the victim families.

He said that nothing was done for the rehabilitation of the victim families post cloudburst.

“The families are still waiting to be rehabilitated but nothing has been done,” he said. “The families of the missing persons are still waiting for their lost loved ones.”

Waza said most of the affected families were constructing houses on their own and some had taken loans.

“The banks should waive off these loans as people are unable to pay them back,” he said.

Waza said that the compensation offered to the families for the loss to the farmers was very less.

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