SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Member of Parliament from Anantnag Justice Hasnain Masoodi on Thursday took exception to the demolition drive carried out by District Administration Pulwama along national highway at Awantipura saying the measure should have been put in abeyance in view of winter months and grim COVID-19 situation.
As if the torments suffered by the people on account of successive clampdown and COVID -19 induced lockdown were not enough, the government has now took it upon itself to make people homeless during the pandemic period and ongoing winter, said Member of Parliament while expressing dismay over the demolition drive. “Almost all the households whose houses have been raised down alongside national highways are poor. Most of them are daily wagers and live by humble means. Where would these poor people get money to rebuild their humble dwellings? These people eke out their living by humble means and live by hand to mouth. On account of their failure to rebuild their houses at other places these poor families are now forced to live under sky as they cannot afford rented accommodations. The coercive action of the administration has left the hapless lot in lurch. It would have taken them years to amass household items, the administration on its part with no consideration for their quandary, took a few minutes to smash it to ruble. Who is now going to pay for the losses the poor families have incurred? How would these families withstand the winter chill now? Unfortunately the elderly, children, patients and expecting mothers are at the receiving end of this,” he said.
To prevent the people from immediate homelessness, the administration should have sent notices contemplating the demolition /eviction process. “But in this part of the world such a process is not followed as a norm. Ideally the demolition drive should have been put to abeyance keeping in view the ongoing winter season and global pandemic. At least the poor families should not have been pushed out until they persisted,” he added.
He said that clearing the national highway was the need of the hour but that should not have been done at the cost of poor people. “I urge the district administration and the divisional administration to provide succor to the affected families and rehabilitate them as soon as possible so that they don’t have to undergo any further predicaments during the ongoing winter season,” he said.