J-K flood survivor: High-profile tourists, VIPs were given preference

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Sep 13, 2014 08:30 IST

“We broke open the tin roof of our house to escape the gushing waters,” said CS Sapru, 58, joint director, census operation, Jammu and Kashmir.

Sapru, who belongs to Sector 46 of the city, landed at the Chandigarh air force station along with a batch of rescued people from Srinagar on Friday morning. He has been posted in Srinagar for last 10 years.

“There was heavy rain on September 6. The water started collecting in streets. Around midnight, a local mosque announced the alert on flood. There was a breach in the Jhelum. Soon, cars, shops, stray animals got washed away. We were helpless,” he said.

With the help of hammers, he and his wife Lalita Sapru and a tenant broke open the tin roof of the third floor of their house in Indira Nagar, Srinagar, on September 7.

The water had entered the first floor of their house and it was rising. “A boat being operated by a local area committee rescued us. At the relief camp near the governor’s house, we had to wait for three days for evacuation. High-profile tourists and VIPs were given first preference,” he said.

“My neighbours are missing. I am not aware of the whereabouts of my colleagues. Mobile connectivity has been snapped,” he said.“We were just given a banana and a piece of bread in the relief camp.

The local government is a mute spectator. Whatever is being done is by the army and air force,” he said. His wife had arrived Chandigarh on Thursday.

“Locals provided milk for my two-year-old daughter,” Saurabh Popli, 34, a resident of Sector 51 in Chandigarh, said. He had gone to Srinagar for a holiday with his wife and two-year-old daughter on September 3. He was staying in a hotel near the Dal lake.

“While waiting near the helipad waiting to be evacuated, not even blankets were provided to us. We slept on the road for three nights. There was no shelter, no lights and no drinking water. We were given a banana and bread. Locals helped us with milk for my daughter,” he said. “The governor came in his car to oversee the arrangements. People tried to stop his car but he did not interact with them,” he complained.

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