Jammu: Alleging that there is "total mismanagement" in the relief and rehabilitation process, the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday said the state government was trying to show its presence in the wrong way by messing up distribution of relief material among the flood victims.
"After its complete failure in taking preventive steps to tackle floods and the situation arising out of it, the Jammu and Kashmir government was now trying to show its presence in the wrong way by messing up distribution of relief material to the victims," PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said after touring flood-affected areas of Surankote, Mendhar and Haveli in Poonch district today.
She said even about 20 days after the tragedy struck, the flood situation remained grim on the ground with victims struggling for their survival in absence of any government help.
She expressed dismay over the way government was handling the relief measures which now seem to be revolving around the intentions to seek political mileage.
"It is a general perception among the people that after being drowned in floods the government was now trying to show signs of presence through arbitrary and biased distribution of relief," she said, adding the government was routing relief material through the ruling parties which itself speaks about the intention of the state dispensation.
She said reports about government putting a curb on Non Government Organisations (NGOs) to distribute relief material independently was most condemnable act and her party cannot be a mute spectator to such tactics.
"For around a week the government and its machinery left the people at the mercy of God and it were the victims alone who helped each other at the most crucial juncture. Now the government was trying to route the relief material collected by voluntary organisations though its own machinery just in order to show its presence," she said.
Claiming that thousands of houses have been damaged in the floods in Rajouri and Poonch districts, Mehbooba said the situation was grim in villages of Surankote, Singiote, Chindiyal and Kandigalote.
She said thousands of kanals of land have been washed away by the floods making it barren as such the victims across Rajouri and Poonch districts need immediate rehabilitation with provision for alternate land at suitable places.
"Farmers whose land has been washed away in the flood should be provided alternative agriculture land so that they can earn their livelihood," she demanded.
Unfortunately, she said, the entire relief process has been messed up as their was total anarchy prevailing in the administration.
"There was no central authority while the command and control of the government has totally collapsed," she said, adding that even the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues do not seem to be in control of the things on ground.
"Entire state has been left to struggle while the ministers were now concentrating on their own constituencies," Mehbooba added.
She said that people in Rajouri and Poonch districts have suffered massive losses in the floods but no government agency could be seen on ground.
The people should have been rehabilitated to alternative accommodation by now and the relief for construction and repair of houses should have been distributed among the victims on war footing, she said.
The winter was fast approaching in the mountainous region and in case victims were not able to reconstruct their houses before it, the delay could prove fatal.
Expressing concern over the conditions of those rendered homeless by the incessant rains and subsequent flooding, PDP president regretted that the authorities have adopted cumbersome process to allot tents to these homeless people.