KL NEWS NETWORK
Authorities are planning evacuating the Madwah village and house them in rented accommodations in some neighboring village, G N Balwan, the Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar, who visited the village during the day said. He said the entire village was decimated by the conflagration.
“There are two or three families which have not lost their homes in the fire,” Balwan told Kashmir Life. “All the eighty houses, their cowsheds, their granaries, the mosque and all other public utilities were destroyed.”
Balwan said the shocked residents who are also poor may not be able to reconstruct their homes in the next few months. “The only option is to get them out to some safe place and pay for their rent and support their survival till next summer,” Balwan said.
The remote Sukhni village is not accessible by any road and the authorities had to fly relief only after the police created a temporary helipad. While IAF flew some relief, mostly ration, kitchen ware and the blankets, the state chopper took the ministers and official for on spot visits. Balwan said they will be flying some more relief.
Balwan said 620 is the number of people who are currently without shelters. Till the government funds some alternative, the locals have housed the women and kids in some of the houses that survived the fire and the rest are under tents. Some families have sent their members to neighbouring villages to live with their relatives. Houses apart, officials said the losses include 80 cow sheds, one middle school, two medical shops, two water mills, three provisional stores, two Anganwari center, one health sub center, beside a mosque and a shrine. The fire was accidental in nature that started from the house of Mohammed Ashraf at around 6.30 PM on Saturday and which engulfed the whole village. Most of the houses were brick-and- timber houses and lacked any fire gap. The winds added to the crisis.
In absence of any fire-tender – it cannot be taken there for lack of road, the fire extinguished, almost automatically, after it destroyed everything. When the officials flew to the village it was still smoldering.
The twin valley’s of Madwa and Wadwan located on the mountains separating Kashmir and Chinab Valley, lack access to proper roads. They are normally inaccessible for six months of winter. For many years, it has remained a crisis that some of the villages go up in flames in accidents, normally in autumn or winter.
NC leader Sajad Ahmad Kitchloo has reportedly announced paying Rs 75,000 each to every family from his constituency development fund and additional Rs 10,000 from his own pocket. Reports said Kitchloo has started for the remote village. Kashmir Life failed to get in touch with him to confirm if he has made such ambitious announcement.
Meanwhile Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti has expressed shock and grief over the tragic fire incident in village Sukhnai in which a large number of houses were gutted. She has instructed the divisional and district administration to provide immediate help and support to all those affected due the devastating blaze. Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh has also expressed shock and grief over the fire incident.