Terming lack of coordination between State and Government of India as the source of misery for the flood hit people of Kashmir, former Deputy Chief Minister and incumbent Parliament Member Muzaffar Hussain Beigh Wednesday advised State Government to constitute a special committee of National and International experts to cope up with the present crisis that has arisen due to flood furry in Jammu and Kashmir. He said government must consult experts and devise ways and means to avoid such calamities in future.
In an interview with Srinagar based news gathering agency CNS, Muzaffar Hussain Beigh revealed that Omar Abdullah was not having any control on Government and administration when floods hit Srinagar city. He said that Bureaucrats did not cooperate with the Chief Minister, as there was no political leadership to control them. “When there are crisis, it is the political leadership which motivate and handle the bureaucrats, but during the time of floods, almost all the political establishment affiliated with the government acted as mute spectators and they did nothing to relieve the common people from hardships,” he said adding that only Omar Abdullah was seen on the ground while rest of his team was nowhere in sight.
Peoples Democratic Party leader said that it is high time that cutting across party lines, all the leaders from mainstream and pro-freedom groups should join hands to release the people from hardships. “We all should find ways and means to rehabilitate flood hit people. I appeal Hurriyat leaders to focus on rehabilitation work for some time forget the Kashmir issue. They (Separatists) can play a major role in rebuilding Kashmir,” he said.
Beigh said that lack of coordination between the State and Central Government marred the flood hit people of Kashmir. “There was no coordination between the two when rescue operations were going on and even during the distribution of relief materials, both lacked the same,” he said and alleged that some top political leaders who are part of the government looted the relief material.
“Some top political leaders are not only pillaging relief material coming through official channels, but are also taking away items raised by various NGOs and civil society groups. There are reports that bulk of the relief material have been dumped by these leaders and they are surely going to use it during the time of coming Assembly elections. Even, Chief Omar Abdullah is well aware of this fact, but doesn’t act as he has no control on these leaders,” Beigh alleged adding that all but 150 to 200 trucks loaded with relief material were looted by these political leaders. He further said that no politics should be played over this catastrophe and distributing the relief material.
Responding to a question, Muzaffar Hussain Beigh said that mere sending a proposal to Central Government to provide Rs 44000 crores as assistance to flood ravaged state is not enough. “Whenever you send any proposal you have to follow it up, but here nobody is pursuing this proposal. Government of India provides grants special financial package only when it believes that the State Government can spend it in right direction, but unfortunately, the State Government has failed to deliver so far.
Besides, only Rs 44000 crores are not going to help to rebuild Kashmir, there are huge losses that Kashmir has suffered. There are some undisclosed losses like the loss of jewelery and gold and hard cash which have records. We need international aid as well and Government of India should allow apolitical international agencies to supply aid to flood-torn Kashmir,” he said.
Beigh told CNS that as an individual he feels that elections should be delayed as people at this moment have loss interest in Assembly elections. “Let me clear, I am bound by my party and I support the view of party on this issue. But, my personal opinion is that time is not ripe for holding elections in Kashmir,” he said.