By Rishav Gupta
Pics By Sandeep Manhas
A home laid brick by brick, from the money saved penny by penny. But nature has a twisted way of laying its fury and reminding us how weak and helpless we are against its forces. Like a house of cards, it all crumbled down as the homes of dreams turned into wrecks of nightmares.
Such horrors are shared by thousands who faced the floods that wreaked havoc in Jammu and Kashmir and drowned acres of land, destroyed many homes and ravaged many lives. People who survived are left with a dreadful tale to tell and ghastly memories to haunt them. Severe damage and devastation has occurred to many areas within the Jammu city owing to a merciless Tawi and ruthless Chenab that submerged areas surrounding them with their ruining might. People suffered with a loss that is unpayable by any sum of money and though the water has withdrawn from these areas, it has left the victims with a scarred picture that they are trying to bring back to normality, if it all. Gujjar Nagar, Gujjar Bashir Basti, Bawa Basti and Belicharana are among the areas in Jammu city where the flood affected the worst.
People in these areas are border residents who endured the Kargil war, were relocated by the state government. At the time when these colonies were being constructed by the side of the Tawi river, a concrete wall was made on the river banks for the resistance against floods but due to the substandard quality of the materials used, it barely withheld and quickly gave away, letting the flood water break into the colony and spread throughout the residential buildings. When the water hit the constructions, some houses faced severe damage as the roofs fell off and the walls succumbed to the destructive aggression of the raging Tawi. And when the water retreated, it took with it expensive articles along with other priceless possessions of the residents leaving behind a mess of mud and dirt to clean up.
Lack of electricity, drinking water and other essentials further worsens the living conditions in these areas as the recovery and aid lags to reach them. While cleaners are provided by the municipality in the Gujjar Nagar area, other areas are yet to receive any attention and help, therefore. While people were busy in cleaning and scrubbing the chaos these floods left behind, they were eagerly waiting for any or all the help they can receive from the authorities which are yet to address them. Cattle were found dead and their dead bodies rot and demand to be removed on an urgent basis so as to prevent any bio hazard or epidemic to break.
Jammu and Kashmir witnessed its worst of floods in over half a century and it’s the assessment of damages afterwards that’s even more terrifying than the calamity itself. Al though rescue missions from both state and center are on war footing in the flood hit areas throughout Jammu and Kashmir, life in these areas is bound to suffer till the time their turn comes in the rescue list.