Srinagar: Do it yourself! That was the mantra behind the valiant efforts by nearly 3,000 residents of Old Barzullah locality in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir to save themselves from the overflowing Doodh Ganga stream that threatened to seep into their homes.
Heavy rainfall across Kashmir Valley swelled the water bodies with water level in Doodh Ganga stream rising menacingly fast.
The residents of the peninsula-shaped locality, Old Barzullah, which is covered by water bodies on two of its three sides, sent SOS to all concerned agencies for taking measures to prevent water from inundating the densely populated residential area.
"We were promised help by the district administration as well as officials of Flood Control department but none came out way till the stream started overflowing its banks," Mohammad Yousuf Mir claimed.
Mir said all the government officials had to do was send a JCB to cut an embankment of Doodh Ganga stream that would have allowed the excess water to pass into a flood channel.
"For three hours, we were waiting for the government to act but we apparently were not a priority. That when we decided to take control of the situation," Mir said.
Mir along with few dozen youth first tried to cut the embankment using shovels and spades but the task proved very difficult.
"We then decided to pool money and hired a private JCB which cut through the embankment and the water level receded within an hour," Mohammad Shafi, another local resident, said.