Srinagar: Opposition PDP on Monday demanded a high-level inquiry into the management of recent floods in Jammu and Kashmir saying it needs to be conclusively established whether every effort was made to save the summer capital and other areas from the deluge.
"The sequence of events would suggest that the centuries-old established procedure was not followed fully which could have contributed to the catastrophe. Inquiry is unavoidable to prevent dereliction of duty in future if that is established," PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said addressing party meeting here.
"It needs to be conclusively established whether every effort was made to save Srinagar and other areas from the deluge," he added.
Sayeed said there is an impression that the "established flood control practices were not followed" which could be the reason for widespread destruction of the capital city.
The former chief minister alleged that the flood had resulted in complete collapse of the command and control system besides hitting the jugular vein of Kashmir's economy.
He said the focus of the flood control strategy in Kashmir has always been the prime concern for the safety of capital as any damage to the seat of power and hub of business affects entire state.
He alleged that such an event having taken place in spite of advance warnings and a week-long rise in water levels indicates criminal negligence in meeting the challenge which calls for fixing of responsibility for such a costly failure that has taken lives, properties, businesses, official and personal records and public infrastructure.
Describing the role of the youth in saving lives and extending relief to the flood victims as truly heroic, Sayeed said "our youth present the silver lining on an otherwise gloomy horizon".
"Irrespective of caste, creed or religion our youngsters extended support to everyone in distress and organized themselves into an energetic, selfless and innovative force which I am sure is capable of writing a new chapter in Kashmir's history," he added.
Sayeed said the destruction caused by the flood and the response of our society to it offers a unique opportunity as well and this could be our defining moment to rebuild Jammu and Kashmir around the dreams, capabilities and creativity of our youth.
"I dedicate my party and my services to build a state with the participation of our youth that revives our glory and offers unlimited opportunities of growth to everyone," he said.
Advising the party cadres and leaders to keep serving the people as they did so far in the present crisis, he said immediate relief is of importance but we have to get essentially into long term reconstruction plans.
Sayeed urged the government to establish a credible and impartial monitoring system to ensure transparency in distribution of relief.
He said it could even be an all party monitoring system so as to ensure that the relief reaches the deserving and is not misappropriated by any one as it is now widely perceived that the real victims have been left high and dry and relief items have been handed over to some politicians.
The PDP leaders expressed deep grief at the loss of life and property and extended its sympathy to the affected families.