Condemning total mismanagement in the disbursement of relief and rehabilitation process, president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti Thursday said that after its “complete failure” in taking preventive steps to tackle floods and the situation arising out of it, the Jammu and Kashmir government was now trying to show it’s presence in a wrong way by messing up the distribution of relief material to the victims.
Concluding her extensive tour of flood affected areas of Surankote, Mendhar and Haveli in Poonch district the PDP president said that even around 20 days after the flood situation remained grim on ground with victims struggling for their survival in absence of any government help.
She expressed dismay over the way government was handling the relief measures which now seem to be revolving around the intentions to seek political mileage.
“It is a general perception among the people that after being drowned in floods the government was now trying to show signs of presence through arbitrary and biased distribution of relief,” she said adding that the government was routing the relief material through ruling parties which itself speaks about the intention of the ruling dispensation.
She said that reports about government putting a curb on the Non Government Organisation (NGOs) to distribute relief material independently was most condemnable act and her party can not be a mute spectator to such tactics.
“For around a week the government and its machinery left people at the mercy of God and it were the victims alone who helped each other at the most crucial juncture. Now government was trying to route the relief material collected by voluntary organisations though its own machinery just in order to show its presence,” she said.
Asserting that thousands of houses have suffered damage due to the floods in Rajouri and Poonch districts, Mehbooba said that situation was grim in Chindera village of Surankote, Singiote, Chindiyal and Kandigalote where even the structure standing after the floods were not fit for habitation. She said that thousands of kanals of land have been washed way by the floods making it barren as such the victims across Rajouri and Poonch districts need immediate rehabilitation with provision for alternate land at suitable places. “Farmers whose land has been washed away in the flood should be provided alternative agriculture land so that they can earn their livelihood,” she demanded.
Unfortunately, she said, the entire relief process has been messed up as their was total anarchy prevailing in the administration. “There was no central authority while the command and control of the government has totally collapsed,” she said adding that even the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues do not seem to be in control of the things on ground. “Entire state has been left to struggle while the ministers were now concentrating on their own constituencies,” Mehbooba added.
She said that people in Rajouri and Poonch districts have suffered massive loss in the floods but no government agency was existent on ground. The people should have been rehabilitated in the alternate accommodation by now and the relief for construction and repair of houses should have been distributed among the victims on war footing, she said adding that winter was fast approaching in the mountainous region and in case victims were not able to reconstruct their houses before it, the delay could prove fatal.
Expressing concern over conditions of those people who were rendered homeless by the incessant rains and floods, PDP president regretted that authorities have adopted cumbersome process to allot tents to these homeless people.