J&K: Search ends for 19 residents who went missing after cloudburst in July
The search operation for 19 residents, who went missing after a cloudburst at Kashmir’s Hunzar village in July, was called off on Wednesday, Greater Kashmir reported. On July 28, a cloudburst had triggered flash floods in Kishtwar district, following which seven people from Hunzar village were killed and several others went missing. As the rains swept away the houses and soiled the ration, at least 60 families were evacuated.A State Disaster Response Force along with multiple disaster response units from neighbouring Udhampur and Doda districts had been looking for those missing for close to two months now.“The search operation is over as it was not humanly possible to find out the 19 missing people who might have been washed away in the flash flood triggered by cloudburst or buried under the huge boulders and debris,” District Development Council chairperson Pooja Thakur told Greater Kashmir.She added that the National Disaster Response Force and state teams had left the village.Thakur, along with Divisional Commissioner of Jammu Raghav Langer, visited the Sonder village in Kishtwar, where families rendered homeless due to the cloudburst had been rehabilitated, according to Greater Kashmir.“Nineteen families have lost their homes and land,” she said. “Of the 19 families, as many as 17 still have a small portion of land even as their houses have already been damaged and three families have completely become homeless with not even a small portion of land.”The administration has been planning to compensate the victims with 5 marla, or 126.46 square metre, state land, Greater Kashmir reported.“We have demanded enhancement of land compensation for the families affected by the cloudburst,” she said. “The families have not only lost their loved ones but also lost their houses and agricultural land. The government should rehabilitate all of them appropriately.”Thakur also requested the administration to relax formalities for Hunzar village residents who apply for the special police officer position with the Jammu and Kashmir Police.“They should be given an age relaxation,” she said. “Unfortunately, the police is asking for qualification and proper height of the youth who are coming for the recruitment purposes of SPOs, which is unjustified.” After the incident, Jammu Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the family of those who died due to the cloudburst.