A family from Bangalore had to wait for more than a week to return to the City from the flood-hit Kashmir due to the mad rush at the helipad and airport in Srinagar.
The residents from Shantinagar managed to leave the boat house in which they were staying in the nick of time, before it submerged in water. They starved for three days and slept on terraces, before they were airlifted to the Air Force station in Srinagar.
Stanley Bhasme, along with 30 others, landed in Srinagar on September 5. They were staying on the third floor of the boat house in Dal Lake before water gushed in and filled two floors. With the help of a few Kashmiris, they were ferried to a safer location. After this, they walked eight kilometres to reach the helipad at the Raj Bhavan.
“It was a mad rush at the helipad, with Army men caning the crowd. There were over 80,000 people waiting to be airlifted to the airport,” said Bhasme.
In search of food and shelter, the family walked another three km to find a place to stay till the crowd at the helipad thinned. The airport at Srinagar was another big mess with thousands waiting for flights.
“The airlines told us that we will have to wait for another two days as most of the flights were running full. There, we met some people from a Kannada news channel, who told us to reach Air Force station and not to wait at the Srinagar airport. We reached Delhi in an Air Force flight and were shifted to Karnataka Bhavan,” said Bhasme.
“We have seen bodies floating in Dal Lake. Even after reaching Bangalore, my son is having nightmares of the flood,” he said.