Relief workers face difficulties in Srinagar as people refuse to leave homes
Relief teams operating in Kashmir are facing a peculiar problem because a large number of people stuck in waterlogged Valley are refusing to leave their homes, and want the food, and other material to be delivered at their homes. It is being rumoured that with the rising thefts in the aftermath of floods during which a large number of people have left behind their homes unlocked, many house owners do no want to leave their properties. This however is causing a lot of problems for the security forces as well as the NDRF teams operating in the lanes, and bylanes of Kashmir valley.
A large number of people in Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Gogji Bagh, Bemina, Mehjor Nagar, Karan Nagar and Qamarwari in Srinagar are still under water, and people in some localities have even atacked the relief teams. They are now asking that food material, water and other stuff should be distributed to them house wise which has made things even more difficult. Relief workers say that it is easier to provide food, shelter, water and other stuff at a centralized relief camp but giving out handouts in different parts is a formidable job.
Sources tell that thousands of people have been stranded in the city, and it will need a mammoth effort to reach out and help them. And if people do no cooperate and help the security forces then it would be another disaster in the making. In fact Chief Minister Omar Abdullah asserted, “This is an unprecedented situation. There is no way we could have prepared for it. Operations are being cranked up, supplies are arriving and we are doing our best.”
The army chief meanwhile has assured that his men would work day and night to provide relief. We will supply food, water, and medicines to all the residents wherever they are stuck.
The locals in Srinagar meanwhile say that there is an increasing number of thefts in the city after frightened residents left their houses unlocked. Thieves were reported to have lifted gas cylinders, household goods from the deserted buildings and homes in the city. Mohd Shahid, a resident of Batmaloo says that there have been incidents where thieves were seen lifting gas cylinders. With no police presence, and majority of security forces concentrating on relief, the people in Srinagar say that they fear their valuables will be burgled, and houses would be ruined if they move out from their houses. A man says that he had collected the wedding gifts for his daughter, and now does not know what has happened to them after the house was deserted.
While the people have been caught between the flood and insecurity about their houses, the relief workers are worried about how they will manage the logistics of helping this huge population if they continue to remain inflexible in their approach. An official says that this amidst this huge disaster, the first priority should be saving each other lives, and managing to remain safe as wealth and property can be earned again but losing a loved one can never be compensated.