People in Valley face extreme hardship as winter approaches



SRINAGAR: With government failing to ensure speedy compensation to the flood victims, a huge number of people are spending cold nights under makeshift tents, while the temperature continues to dip gradually.

Last month scores of the houses were raised to the ground by the flash floods and many people were rendered homeless, who are now living in makeshift tents at different places.

Life is gradually becoming very difficult for these people as the autumn season is towards its end and only weeks are left for the onset of winter season, the time when valley remains submerged under a thick blanket of snow and temperature levels decline beyond the zero mark.

“The nights are very hard and it is now that we are realizing the importance of having a shelter. We feel like nomads now and during nights we shiver with cold  despite using fire to keep ourselves warm,” Mukhtar Dar who is living in a tent near Lalmandi area.

In Lalmandi near river Jehlum Bund there are almost 36 families who are putting in very small makeshift tents and are waiting for the compensation programme announced by the government.

“In this small tent which is half the size of a 10/10 room, we are living eight family members in it. We sleep in an irregular manner as everyone keeps on struggling for space. Each person has one blanket which is not adequate to keep him warm in this bone chilling cold nights,” Mukhtar added.

The cries of the victims remain unheard still as no government official has visited them so far. As of now, the government is shifting men and machinery to winter capital as annual Darbar move, the homeless people are demanding space for the winter season from government.

“We need land where we can construct our houses. We are very poor people and our huts were washed away by the floods. Government should give us land where we can live properly,” said Imtiyaz Ahmad another local.

Furthermore, numerous flood affected people who are living in rented rooms and are paying hefty sum to the house owners as rent.
“I have shifted to Rawalpora in south city where my family is living in a rented building. Our house was raised to ground and government is also slow in providing the compensation. It is  impossible for us to construct a house in this less period when only weeks are left for the winter to arrive,” said by a Amjad a local resident of Kursu Rajbagh.


-By CJ Priya

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