Families living on Jhelum bank await good news from PM

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Oct 23, 2014 19:12 IST

Surrounded by palatial houses in Srinagar's upmarket Rajbagh area which was devastated in the Sepetember floods, a locality of 35 families is awaiting the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The people mostly daily wage labourers and small time shopkeepers have been living on the roads in about 23 tents on the banks of River Jhelum which left them devastated in the first week of September.

"We have heard Prime Minister is visiting flood victims, I hope he come to this side as our suffering have remained unheard," said Shamima, who is living in the tent with her two minor children and seven members of her husbands family.

"The police is harassing us, they want the tents back, if only our house could be repaired we will be ok," she said.

The family was living in two houses, a two storey house made of mud and bricks has given way, while a smaller house of concrete has developed cracks. "So far we have been given 35 kgs of rice by government. thats all the relief we have got from them and this tent we are living in rest everything has been provided by local people," said her father in law, Mohd Abdullah Dar, a diabetic and suffering from asthama .

While the posh areas wear a deserted look as most families have shifted out of their damaged houses, the locality opposite valley's elite Presentation Convent School is still buzzing with activity.

The inhabitants are busy removing muck and repairing what is remaining of their homes.

"Winter is coming, all our winter stock is gone, our clothes food, the coal. What will we do. We need to fight winter," Abdul Rashid Bhat.

Bhat (50) is living in a tent just outside his three storey house which has been declared unsafe by the government. "My bathroom has developed cracks. A few
walls have given way, we have no where to go," he said.

"I hope the Prime Minister announces something for people like us. He is our only hope now," Bhat said.

The residents are also living in the constant fear as the government is yet to fill the bank which was breached to let the water out of the residential areas.

"Everytime there is rain, we get scared that the water might re-enter the area," said Bilal Ahmad, another resident of the area.

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