Day 16: Srinagar areas remain inundated

People fear outbreak of diseases; Govt fails to make civil secretariat functional; No end in sight for poor phone connectivity

In the wake of devastating floods across Kashmir, a humanitarian crisis loomed large in this summer capital on Monday as more than two lakh estimated people continued to remain out of their homes for the 16th consecutive day, with the government failing to dewater the areas still submerged in the putrid waters.
In various parts of Srinagar including the commercial hub Lal Chowk, life remained paralyzed because of prevalence of flood waters. The government’s dewatering mechanism, according to affected people, has proved to be a damp squib, much to the disappointment of thousands of displaced locals.
The worst-hit areas of Jawahar Nagar, Bemina and Rajbagh also remained inundated and locals have apprehensions that the flood water might trigger outbreak of diseases like Cholera, Typhoid and Hepatitis A.
The locals residing in these areas continued to remain in relief camps on the outskirts of Srinagar, confronted with shortage of essentials and healthcare as many camps have wound up their operations. Also, the healthcare deliverance in major flood-hit hospitals also remained affected. The government says it is in a process to clean the litter from the hospitals.
Shortage of essential commodities in parts of Srinagar and elsewhere is extensive, according to messages sent by people to Greater Kashmir.
Mobile and internet services too remained disrupted, causing immense inconvenience to people.
Meanwhile, sources said, the government’s bid on Monday to make the Civil Secretariat—the highest seat of governance— functional was unsuccessful. They said although Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his cabinet colleagues managed to get inside the deluged complex, nothing concrete vis-à-vis tackling the problems emerging out the flood was chalked out.
The government, the sources said, has decided to shut the secretariat for two more days. However, bureaucrats dealing with relief measures would continue to work from Hari Niwas, the temporary seat of governance, they added. This was the government’s second attempt to make the secretariat functional since floods wreaked havoc in Kashmir on September 7.
A government official has made a rough estimate that more than two lakh people have got displaced in Srinagar alone because their houses are still under water.

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