Before the floods wreaked havoc in Srinagar last Sunday, there were 320 cows in the Army’s dairy farm at Bemina. Now only seven are left.
The stench emanating from the carcasses is unbearable for the people living in more than 300 households in Bemina’s Al Imran colony and surrounding neighbourhood. The floating carcasses have become a source of worry with water still logged in most of the houses.
“The flood damaged our houses and our businesses. Now we are afraid that there might be an epidemic, which will kill more people than the floods,” says Abdul Rehman Dar, a 70-year-old resident of the colony.
Though the floodwaters hit Bemina, a day after most of Srinagar was submerged, it took everyone by surprise, Mr. Dar told The Hindu .
“We couldn’t help the cows as we were too distraught ourselves,” he said. “The cows bleated all night. It was very scary. I felt the world was coming to an end,” Mr. Dar said.
The floods carried the cows far away from the Army farm – two carcasses lay in the compound of a house about 200 meters away, one floated outside a place of worship and a dozen of contorted bodies settled along the sides of the roads.
“Please take away this cow from my compound. I have tied a rope to it. Please,” a man kept pleading to Mr. Dar who was ferrying people in a boat.
With thousands of carcasses floating all over the city and no government or municipal officials anywhere in sight, outbreak of an epidemic is the biggest fear among residents in submerged areas.
“No one from the government is coming to us or setting up a camp here with tetanus injections, water purifying medicine or removing dead animals,” Mohammad Younis Bhat, told The Hindu . Mr. Bhat managed to get a tetanus injection from a clinic five kilometers away, but his friends were not that lucky.
Even though the floodwaters are receding, places like Bemina will take a long time to clear up unless the government employs motor pumps to remove the water.