Kashmiris protest, seek food, basics

People angry over 'lax' approach of govt

Hundreds of people in different flood-hit areas of Srinagar city continued their protests on Wednesday against Jammu and Kashmir government’s lax approach in providing basic amenities to the flood victims.

Raising anti-government slogans the protesters alleged that the Omar Abdullah-led coalition government has failed to provide basic amenities of life to them even after the flood waters receded from their areas.

At Suthrashai area in old city, traffic came to a standstill as the protesters blocked the main road leading to city centre Lal Chowk for several hours. Police later dispersed the protesters using batons.  

Nusrat Beig, Chairman Shutra Shahi Mohalla Committee told reporters that 90 per cent of the houses in the area were hit by the ravaging floods that began in Srinagar on September 7.   “Out of 167 houses in our area, 110 have collapsed due to floods. Rest of the houses are unsafe. But due to government’s apathy, we are craving for shelter and other relief material till date,” he rued.

There were reports of similar protests from Shalteng, Parimpora Batamaloo, Barzulla and several other areas of the city. The protestors alleged that electricity and water supply had not been restored in their areas.

Meanwhile, state government has constituted 12 rapid reaction teams to counter the outbreak of any epidemic in the flood-hit areas.

“The Health and Medical Education Department has constituted 12 rapid reaction teams to counter the outbreak of any epidemic, if any, following the recent floods in the Valley,” an official handout said. 

“Though the possibility of spread of any epidemic or disease has been ruled out by the experts, the step has been taken as a precaution,” it added.

IT notice

The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed resentment over the Income Tax Department issuing notices to Valley traders, saying this was coming at a time when they were reeling under the effects of the devastating floods.

“A serious note was taken of this untimely and unwarranted action by the Income Tax Department at a time when Kashmir has been devastated by unprecedented floods,” the apex trade body of Kashmir said in a statement.

The issue was discussed in a meeting of the KCCI chaired by its president Sheikh Ashiq here on Tuesday, the statement said. The chamber said the floods left lakhs of people homeless, destroying their business premises and establishments, washing out records, documents and account books, besides inflicting “unimaginable” misery on the public at large.

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