Seven days after Jammu and Kashmir was hit by its worst floods in 60 years, several areas continued to remain submerged on Saturday, including large parts of the capital Srinagar.
Although transport in some parts of the city resumed, many areas like Lal Chowk and Residency Road continued to remain submerged, with water levels at some places measuring up to 12 feet high.
“It will take weeks to return to normalcy, houses are still under water and only civil relief workers are visible,” said Javid Ahmad, a resident of Baghat, targeting the Omar Abdullah government.
With no pumps installed yet to drain out the water, several residents complained that the government was not doing enough. “It is seventh day, but the government is not visible, people are still stuck in their homes at Bemina, Qamarwari and Tengpora localities,” said Nisar Ahmad, whose relatives are struck at Bemina.
The Valley is also facing a severe shortage of fuel and arrangements were being made to bring fuel tankers stranded on the national highway into the city and rural towns, said officials.
Although telephone services have resumed in some parts of the city, the old parts of Srinagar continue to remain out of coverage.
The Radio Kashmir Srinagar, which had stopped functioning after water submerged the station that is located on the banks of Jhelum, in the meantime has resumed its service and is helping people to find their missing relatives through public announcements.
In another development, political parties on Saturday came together to issue a joint appeal to individuals and organisations within and outside the state to help the affected people in “every possible way”. A resolution was passed at an all-party meeting, convened by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to deliberate over flood crisis response, which expressed complete solidarity with the affected people and resolved to rebuild the state.
After the meeting, Abdullah said all parties were supportive of the rescue and relief operations. He appreciated the fact that the parties came together and sent out a joint message. “If NC and PDP can sit together and send out a joint message, if BJP and Congress can sit together and send out a joint message, rest of the people too can join hands in this hour of crisis,” Omar was quoted by PTI as saying.