Displaced Jhelum dwellers demand rehabilitation

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Dec 27: Scores of families who were displaced from the banks of the Jhelum a decade ago protested here today, seeking rehabilitation.
The displaced families, including men, women and children gathered at Partap Park, Press Enclave here and raised slogans in support of their demands. The protesting families said that the administration has been ignoring them despite the government’s own directives for their rehabilitation and completion of all formalities.
“The families who were evacuated a decade ago from the banks of the Jhelum between Deputy Commissioner officer Srinagar and Fateh Kadal are forced to live in poverty as authorities have failed to rehabilitate them”, a protestor said.
He continued that the rehabilitation project began in 2008 with the selection of 120 families from both sides of the Jhelum River to be moved. “Our houses were demolished in 2012, and 120 people were given rehabilitation order sheets,” said one protestor.
The families claim that land for their rehabilitation was identified and given to them on documents years ago and that they are living in rented accommodation while waiting for compensation. “We do not understand why we are not being rehabilitated after having completed all of the requirements from various involved departments,” they said.
The displaced families claim they are suffering and are willing to relocate to any location the government requests, but they want rehabilitation as soon as possible. “We come from low-income households and cannot afford to pay hundreds of rupees in rent. We cannot marry our daughters because we don’t have a permanent place to live,” Haseena, a displaced protestor, said.