Imposition of Centre’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir has raised hopes among the victims of last year’s devastating floods that the process of rehabilitation will be expedited now even as the political parties continue to blame each other for enforcement of Governor’s rule in the state.
“We are hopeful that the central government will now act faster on its promise of complete rehabilitation of the flood victims. Elections are out of the way and there can be no politicking over rehabilitation in Governor’s Rule,” Abdul Rashid, who lost all his worldly possessions in the September floods last year, said.
Rashid said that the Centre should expedite the rehabilitation process and no excuse can now be made.
“During the election campaign, the BJP leaders who are ruling at the central level promised complete rehabilitation of the victims. This is their opportunity to walk the talk,” he added.
Ishtiyaq Ahmad, another flood victim from the city, said Governor’s rule might be an anti-thesis of a democratically-elected government but experience of Kashmiri people indicate that it would be better for the flood victims.
“There was a brief spell of Governor’s rule in the state in 1986 but those eight months are still remembered as the golden period in the state on development front,” Ishtiyaq said.
Governor’s rule was imposed in the state in March 1986 after Ghulam Mohammad Shah led minority government fell following withdrawal of support by the Congress. Jagmohan, who was the Governor of the state at that time, initiated several development projects in the state which are still hailed as futuristic in terms of planning.
Haleema, a flood victim from Jawahar Nagar area of the city, said it was surprising that the political parties were squabbling for power instead of focusing on rehabilitation and reconstruction process.
“All the politicians sought votes on the plank of rehabilitation and reconstruction of flood affected areas but now it seems to have taken a back seat,” she said.
Haleema said the flood victims have been through the worst and it was immaterial what the state or the central government does for them.
“The Chillai Kalan is now on its way out. God has been kind to us. So far there has been no snow. He did not leave us at the mercy of these self-serving politicians.
“It might take time but we will rebuilt our homes and hearths. Compassion would have been to extend support before the winter chill set in but that did not happen,” she added.
Some of the state government officials feel comfortable in discharging their duties under the Governor’s rule saying there is less interference by politicians.
“Besides accommodating the whims and fancies of ministers and legislators, we sometimes are even forced to listen to their workers. It is not easy to work in that kind of atmosphere,” a senior official of the state government said on condition of anonymity.
He pointed out the demolition drive against encroachments and illegal constructions initiated by the Divisional Administration in Kashmir over the past two weeks.
Governor’s rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir a day after caretaker Chief Minister Omar Abdullah asked to be relieved of his duties on January 7.
The results of state elections on December 23 threw up a hung Assembly with no political party or combination of parties staking claim for government formation.