Govt failed to probe cause of disaster: JKCCS

SRINAGAR: The havoc wrought by recent floods in Jammu and Kashmir has been man made, as much it was a natural calamity Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS) said today.

“The complete failure of the State machinery in disaster preparedness, management and response have exacerbated the human, economic and infrastructural costs of the disaster. Three days after the inundation of South Kashmir areas, the inevitable floods reached Srinagar, where the concerned authorities were criminally negligent. It is only the courage, generosity and decisive actions of local communities and individuals, that have ensured that the human loss from the disaster has not been more devastating, a statement issued by the group said today.

Besides the huge losses to businesses, according to government figures about 260000 structures have been damaged including 95,000 residential houses in Srinagar alone. Effectively more than 8 lakh people are displaced,” the statement read.

It added: “After failing in its duties of flood control, effective evacuation mechanism, rescue operations and providing necessary relief, the state’s response in terms of the compensatory relief announced for survivors and victims too is wholly inadequate and humiliating. The announcement for this ex-gratia relief amount came from the office of the Commissioner Secretary Revenue. Given its culpability in the causation of this disaster, it is incumbent on the government to provide compensation commensurate with the devastating losses caused. It may be pointed out, that in the case of Kashmiri Pandit migrants, the state has announced a compensation package of Rupees Twenty Lakhs, and the victims of the present disaster are equally worthy of such consideration of the state. This is not an act of benevolence or charity, but of responsibility and reparation towards the victims of State’s criminal negligence and wrong doing.”

The JKCCS has said that despite widespread reports of the irresponsibility, and discriminatory actions of officials from J&K Government and the Government of India, the State has failed to institute any inquiry or investigation into the causes or responses to this disaster. In these circumstances, Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) is preparing a detailed fact finding report into the causes, State’s culpability, and role played by civil society and community organisations in flood control, rescue and relief. 

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