As the people of the State are slowly gradually coming to terms with the aftermath of enormous calamity unleashed by floods, rains and landslides, Azad today toured the flood hit areas of Shangus and Kokernag Constituencies of South Kashmir, in keeping with his effort to reach out to the flood hit people.Azad accompanied by AICC General Secretary and PCC president, Prof Saif ud Din Soz, interacted with a wide cross-section of populace all along his route and conveyed to them his deepest sympathies for suffering unprecedented losses to their houses, business establishments, orchards, agricultural land, livestock, etc due to worst ever floods.
To enquire about the well-being of the people and assess the scale and magnitude of damages, Azad today visited many locations/villages including Chittergul, Uttersoo, Achhabal, Tropu, Shergund, Telveni, Numbal, Sheikhpora, Mattan and tried to get a sense of the destruction wreaked by the floods.Besides, Peerzada Mohammad Sayed Minister of Haj, Auqaf & Floriculture, G. A. Mir, Minister of Tourism, Vikar Rasool Wani, MOS Technical Education, Power & Information, DCC President Gulzar Wani, Manzoor Ganie Former Adviser to CM J&K, Azad was accompanied by many local Congress leaders & office bearers.Observing that there has been widespread destruction due to catastrophic floods, Azad said, “Unequalled damage to public and private properties is starkly visible in all parts of the State and one feels deeply pained to see the scenes of devastation, wreck and ruin: orchards are damaged, fruits are destroyed, large patches of agricultural land is washed away, houses are crumbling, paddy crop is ruined, roads and bridges are ravaged”.During the entire visit, people laid emphasis on the grant of actual compensation for the damages suffered by them in the flood fury besides, seeking immediate restoration of public infrastructure like roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, power supply system, etc.
While taking note of the large-scale damage caused to the private property and public infrastructure, Azad assured the people of all support at his command to tide over this difficult phase, adding that no slackness in terms of commitment and effort will be shown to stand by the people of the State in this trying hour.
He also advised the people to cooperate with the administrative machinery for correct and timely recording of the damages suffered by them so that correct estimates of the damages to be projected before the Central Government by the State Government are reached at.Azad felt that administration also needs to adopt a sensitive and proactive approach to reach out to the people who have suffered damages, in that the process of damage assessment becomes hassle-free and visibly fair. Calling for speedy and efficient assessment of the damages, Azad also underlined the need of operationalizing 24x7 helplines for relieving the flood victims of psychological stress, adding that it is equally important to be seen as responsive and people-friendly.
Smt Ambika Soni, General Secretary AICC also assured the people of her solid support in getting them adequate compensation at least equivalent to, if not more, than the disaster hit people of Uttrakhand. She further said that having seen the horrible scenes of devastation caused by the flood waters, it is imperative that people are adequately compensated for the losses they have suffered to rebuild their lives.
Laying emphasis on a collective effort, Azad said that all the Government agencies, political parties, civil society and people at large, especially the youth have to work in complete coordination for erasing the scars left by the devastating floods in Kashmir Valley and many parts of Jammu province, adding further that the big challenge of reconstruction and rebuilding has to be met with a sense of togetherness, seriousness and fortitude.Azad alongwith other leaders returned to Srinagar after ending his elaborate tour of South Kashmir. (KNS)