When the deadly dark clouds burst into bangs, these actually are big bangs for some people because they have to recreate their lives later, reports Saqib Mir
Mohammad Ismail is 35, and a carpenter. He lives in Sardanpora, a hamlet in Kokernag periphery.
The peak of Ramzaan, June 22, was a hot day. In afternoon, mercury plummeted and skies were instantly cloudy. By late afternoon, it was lightening and storming and then it started raining like cats and dogs. Ismail was working within the village, slightly away from his home.
“As it started heavily, I assembled all my tools and kept them in a corner,” Ismail said. “Suddenly, I felt the urge to reach home, I reached with all my clothes drenched.”
In his single-level modest home, surrounded by trees, Ismail found his family scared. Though frightened, they had glasses of water, ready for the Iftaar. Barely 40 minutes after the Iftaar, a big bang pulverized the belt. There were screams and cries. People knew the black blanket of clouds have burst. They were happy, it happened over the mountains, skipping the life on the foothills.
Ismail and his father Mir Hussain asked their family not to panic.Half an hour laer, they ferocious gushing of water flowing through their apple orchard situated in the rare of their house.
As the family stepped out, they saw big river flowing through their two kanals of orchard. “I tried to console my family but I could hardly hold my tears,” Ismail said. “We have worked for ten years in this orchard to grow these apple trees and as the sole bread earner of the family, I had spent almost all money to raise tis dream that was vandalised by the cloud burst.”
For the entire night, Ismail said, his parents, wife and their three children, could not wink for a moment. Soon after the Sehri, they stepped out and the destruction was visible clearly. The orchard of apple trees with corn was covered by tens of thousands of mountain stones. “The entire life on it had vanished,” he said.
That day, Ismail was not the only man wailing. Hundreds of families in Kokernag and Verinagareas, shared the crisis. Houses were partially damaged, crops disappeared and road and power lines were washed away.
In KanjnadDarporavillage alone, 40 houses suffered damage. As many as 13 water supplyschemes in the belt, literally vanished.
Gulam MohammadDar had to shift away from Kanjnad to another village with his wife and four children as the cloudburst took away their home and crop on six kanals of land.
“Next day when we visited the belt, it was destruction everywhere,” Tehsildar Kokernag Malik Waseemsaid. “I prepared the detailed report of damage and forwarded that to the Government.”
It was not for the first time that these belts living in the foothills of PirPanchalwere hit by cloudburst. Off late, this tragedy visits the belt, quite often.
On November 9, 2014, as many as fourteen persons were injured in a cloudburst in Patti Samdal area of Kokernag.OnJuly 9, 2015, Kokernag’sfamous trout fish farm and the adjoining Botanical garden also suffered damages because of flash floods and 65 houses suffered damage.
Since this crisis has become so frequent, the people are asking for a solution. The vulnerablepopulation believes that the Government must construct protection walls around the water channels flowing down the peaks.
“These walls can decrease the intensity of the damage,”Ghulam Ali Dar, a resident of KanjnadDarpora, said. But will it?