Budgam tragedy could have been averted had the Govt acted: Opposition

Sohail Punjabi

Jammu: Opposition National Conference and Congress members walked out of both Houses of the Assembly in protest against the government, accusing it of undue delay in flood rescue operations and withholding information about the situation.
Two Peoples Democratic Party members, Mushtaq Ahmed Shah and Zahoor Mir, also staged a walkout protesting the non-availability of dewatering pumps in their constituencies.
Opposition members staged a walkout after protesting in the House.
National Conference senior leader Ali Mohammad Sagar said casualties in Budgam, where 16 people were buried alive when a house collapsed under a landslide, could have been avoided had the government listened to the Opposition.
His colleague, Mubarak Gul, told reporters outside the Assembly, that the government had been informed that people were living in a vulnerable house and should be shifted to a safer place.
“The government was insensitive towards the lives of people,” Sagar said.
The opposition members stood on their benches and demanded that the proceedings of the house be adjourned and the government must reply on the situation of the floods in Kashmir.
The government, however, said that it would give a reply in the House at 12:30 PM.
The opposition members, who were not satisfied with the reply staged a walkout from the Assembly.
Accusing the central government of showing insensitivity towards the flood-hit people of Jammu and Kashmir, CPI MLA M Y Tarigami said that Union Government must share the responsibility and come forward to help in rescue and rehabilitation of the affected people.
“Government of India in my opinion does not seem to be serious, they have not treated us at par with other flood-hit states. They have released only Rs 200 crore, which we feel is highly insufficient,” he said.
He also accused the PDP-BJP government in the state of delay in acting, “This is unfortunately the biggest tragedy, so many people have died, despite so many forecasts no measures were taken. If they had acted on a timely manner this tragedy could have been averted.”
In the legislative council, Opposition members walked into the Well of the House and accused the government of not providing accurate information about the situation to the assembly. Ignoring acting chairman Basharat Bukhari’s pleas for calm, the members disrupted the proceedings for about 20 minutes and later walked out. They stayed away from the proceedings during the Question and Zero hours. (With PTI inputs)