Srinagar: Kashmiri traders whose goods and stalls were gutted in a massive fire at an exhibition in Hyderabad last month are complaining that they haven’t received any help from the J&K government.
The traders said that the gutted stalls of Kashmiri traders include 30 dealing in dry fruits, 12 in leather product stalls and 21 in shawls. The traders are seeking relief from J&K government to help them resume their businesses.
Hilal Ahmad, one of the affected trader, from Safa Kadal area of Srinagar said that he lost goods worth Rs 20 lakh in the fire.
“I was selling Kashmiri shawls, suits and sarees in the exhibition. Approximately lost material worth Rs 20 lakh,” Hilal said.
“The Telangana government has given us assurance they will provide relief,” he added.
“After the fire we lost hope. It become impossible for us to approach the authorities of J&K government. We approached the president of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to help us,” Yasir Mustaq , another trader from Zakura area of Srinagar said.
“The president of KCCI has approached the Telangana government to provide compensation to the Kashmiri traders,” he added.
Shafat Ahmad Khan, another trader from Khanyar area of Srinagar said they have not received any compensation from “our own Jammu and Kashmir government”.
“We affected traders has lost our hope as our items has been fully gutted. We are stilling waiting for the response of our own government, so we can restart our business,” Shafat said.
He said the traders were provided some compensation from Exhibition Society of Hyderabad.
“The traders whose single stalls were gutted have been given Rs 1,35000 (one lakh thirty-five thousand rupees) and those with double stalls were given Rs 2,70000 ( two lakh seventy thousand) by Exhibition Society of Hyderabad,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to “Mahmood Ali and Yasir Arfat, who helped us and has paid compensation to affected traders.”
President, KCCI Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad said that after the fire he contacted the Home Minister of Telangana, Mahmood Ali .
“He (AIi) has given fully support to the affected traders and also extended the exhibition for further 15 days without any charges,” Ashiq said.
Divisional Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, when contacted, said the Governor administration was working on the issue.