Flood hit traders give vent to their flood woes

Aabid Hussain

SRINAGAR

The valley observed shutdown Wednesday on call of Kashmir traders and manufacturers federation against Government’s “failure” to compensate their losses incurred during devastating floods last year.

The traders hold the protest march at city centre Lal chowk, which was joined by senior Hurriyat leaders like Yasin Malik, Javaid Ahmad Mir and Muhammad Ashraf and others.

The protesters expressed their anger against state government’s delay in flood compensation. Amid slogans, silence and sit-in, Kashmir Life talked to some ‘disgruntled’ traders:

Ghulam Nabi, Habba Kadal

I was running a provisional shop in my locality from last 26 years. But September floods reduced it into debris. It was my only source of income. I have four unmarried daughters and one unemployed son. They too are suffering in the face of floods. The delayed government compensation is further adding to my woes.

Pritpal Singh, Maisuma

I was running a furniture shop near Exchange road from last 15 years, which was badly hit in September floods. I suffered a loss of around Rs 12 lakh. I could save nothing. My hardwork was washed away too. And now, I am unable to restart my business in the face of delayed government compensation.

Ghulam Nabi Dar, Maharaja Bazaar

I was running a tailoring shop at Srinagar’s Maharaja Bazaar from last five years. I had paid a lump sum amount as rent with a hope to earn good. I have five children. My family was dependent on my shop only.  But floods played a worst spoilsport in my life. I suffered a loss of around Rs 7 lakh. I was literally thrown on road. Somehow, my family and I had pinned hopes on government compensation, but the delay is only increasing our worries.

Manzoor Ahmad, Chanapora

I was running a shop in the main market Chanapora, selling cement. Once floods came, all my cement stock was rendered useless; besides my shop suffered heavy losses. Now, I am being barred by Municipal Corporation to reconstruct my shop. But according to SRO 265, they can’t stop me from reconstructing. I was asked to submit previous photos of the shop with FIR and graphical representation. But this red-tapism didn’t stop there. Even after meeting all their conditions, I am still awaiting a green signal from them. Further, a delayed compensation is only escalating my troubles. Nobody is heeding to our plight.

Background

Kashmir witnessed worst ever floods last year. Apart from human lives, trade suffered losses worth thousands of crore. In fact, the capital city Srinagar, many say, has gone a good 10-15 years back.

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