As floods struck, J&K govt. went missing: SC panel

October 12, 2014 03:51 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:28 pm IST - NEW DELHI

This September 10, 2014 photo shows an aerial view of the buildings submerged in floodwaters in Srinagar. Photo: Nissar Ahmad

This September 10, 2014 photo shows an aerial view of the buildings submerged in floodwaters in Srinagar. Photo: Nissar Ahmad

A >Supreme Court-appointed committee on the “catastrophic floods” in Jammu and Kashmir details the failures of the State government — from failing to evacuate people residing in vulnerable areas to leaving the victims to “fend for themselves” with hardly any food or drinking water.

The committee, in its field report dated October 9, recorded the statements of survivors who said supply of free ration that was promised did not reach them, that they still lived mostly in makeshift places with hardly any blankets for the oncoming winter and no ex-gratia had been paid to them.

The report said doctors deputed to the State by the Centre have either been sent back or remain there with no work while stinking garbage line the streets along with animal carcasses.

The committee was set up by a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India (retired) R.M. Lodha on writ petitions filed lawyers and activists, represented by senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, from Jammu and Kashmir on September 24. It was directed to conduct an independent evaluation of the ground situation in the flood-affected State and file a report on October 10.

The committee comprises Suresh Kumar Sharma, Registrar General, Jammu and Kashmir High Court as convenor; Mian Ab. Qayoom, President, High Court Bar Association, Srinagar; Sanjay Agarwal, Director, Ministry of Home Affairs; M.K. Bhardwaj, President, High Court Bar Association, Jammu; and Vinod Kaul, Secretary, Revenue Department, Jammu and Kashmir government.

Mr. Kaul said the committee was able to witness only five per cent of the devastation in the State. They covered Kulgam, Pulwama, Anantnag, Jammu, Udhampur, Rajouri and Poonch districts between September 30 and October 8.

The report pointed out that “no effective steps were taken to warn people residing in vulnerable areas of Srinagar city of the fast-approaching deluge of flood and to evacuate them.” It said “people remained stranded for days together without food and drinking water, waiting for rescue, which was being elusive.”

The report added that it was only their “fierce sense of survival” and ultimately the valiant efforts of the defence forces, NDRF and local volunteers that rescued them. The report said there is “intense anguish and resentment against [the] authorities.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.