Srinagar: The first colony established by the government for its employees in Srinagar over five decades ago has been reduced to rubble by last month’s flood.
Nearly 180 houses have collapsed and 200 have suffered partial damages in Jawahar Nagar locality that came up in 1959 under the supervision of the then Chief Architect, M H Sidiqui, and the then Chief Town Planner, M S Pampori.
The well-designed and well-planned colony had a wide range of facilities, including ample parking space, parks and better road connectivity for at least 480 families living there. While 400 plots were sanctioned to the members of the minority community, the remaining were allotted to the majority community members by the housing department to raise the houses under the official supervision.
“Jawahar Nagar was essentially built for the government employees. It was a colony of intellectuals, as most of the families were well-educated and serving in top positions in the state administration. Now, everything is finished,” president, Jawahar Nagar, Welfare Committee, Mohammad Shafi, told Kashmir Reader Monday.
“The floods have completely destroyed 180 houses. 200 others have suffered extensive damage, while the rest have developed cracks at some places. This colony needs to be rebuilt,” Shafi said.
“This colony bore the brunt of floods. Not only did we lose property but human lives as well. Fourteen people died in a single house that collapsed here,” he said.
Years after the colony was established, Shafi said, the minority community members started disposing off their houses to shift to other places in the state.“And now most of the inhabitants of this colony are Muslims. They comprise around 90 percent of the residents,” he said.
Terming the compensation announced by the government as a cruel joke, Shafi said that with Rs 75,000, even the debris of the collapsed house can’t be removed.
“The compensation announced by the government is too little for the widespread damages caused to the houses. It’s impossible to reconstruct the houses with this meagre amount,” he said, adding “We won’t ask for any compensation if the government establishes this colony at their own. Let them keep compensation and build houses for us.”