By Riyaz Bhat
Srinagar: The residential houseboat of Mushtaq Ahmad Peer of Bund near Lambert Lane collapsed due to the heavy snowfall earlier this week. The family, which had a narrow escape while their household belongings were damaged, are now putting up in a tent on the bund.
The family said they were saved by the timely help from their neighbours who came out during the dead of night after hearing their cries for help.
During the intervening night of 5-6 February, Peer said he was clearing snow from the houseboat roof, when water suddenly gushed into the boat.
“It was 2am and suddenly the boat lost balance and water entered into the boat and took along all the goods present in the houseboat,” said Peer.
A neighbour of Peer said that as soon as they heard cries from the nearby houseboat they rushed to help.
Peer’s four children Hadiya, 11, Saba, 8, Imaan, 7, and Maryam, 5, were sleeping in the boat and had a narrow escape.
“We lost our all school notebooks and books and school uniform too,” said Imaan. “Now we don’t have any clothes to wear and no food to eat. I appeal authorities for help us as our father who sells tea on a cart does not earn much,” said Hadiya.
Ghulam Qadir Gasi of the Houseboat Owners of River Jhelum Association said, “The family has lost everything in the incident and have no place to live”
“The DC Srinagar has provided them one tent and some blankets but this is not enough in these winters. They need shelter as well,” he adds. Gasi urged the government to help the family.
“We on behalf of the family appeal government to look into the hardships of the said family and provide immediate some relief as they do not have any ration or clothes left,” said a neighbor Rayees Ahmad.