Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pul Doda Submerges into Chenab River

Finally, Pul Doda submerges in Baglihar dam waters

About 5 kms away from district headquarter, Pul Doda, the most crowded market of the district finally submerged into Chenab River due to the rise of water above the road level. The area starting from old Mosque via Mandir up to the old petrol pump of Pul Doda is completely submerged in 4 to 5 feet of water.

The people of both the communities setting an example of communal harmony and brotherhood shifted the idols and other things from Mandir to safer place. The last prayers in these religious places were preformed a couple of days back. The area once the busiest, now wears completely a deserted look. The people who are still living there have expressed great resentment towards the state government and district administration.

People alleged that the state government has fooled them by making fake promises of shifting them from Pul Doda to other places by allotting land and rehabilitating them.

Sardar Santokh Singh, a resident of Pul Doda, while talking to Kashmir Times told, “These promises have turned out to be fake as nothing has been done so far. As a result, the families here are facing great hardships and the future of their children also appears bleak”.

Another local resident alleged “The district administration alerted us a few days back that Dul Hasti dam is to release additional water into the river and nobody should move close to the Chenab river banks. But again they fooled us as this rise in water level is because of Baglihar dam and not because of Dul Hasti”.

However, there are still about 20-30 families living in Pul Doda under threat of water. Mohammad Amin Naik, while talking to Kashmir Times reiterated, “We are ready to die. But we will not shift from here to any other place because the state government has promised to rehabilitate us. Government has given only compensation but not the land as was promised by it”. The people of Pul Doda also alleged that it is the civil administration, political leaders and the state government’s’ policies that are responsible for all this.

It is important to mention here that Pul Doda is a historical place and is known for its communal harmony and brotherhood. Baisakhi festival is celebrated on the banks of river Chenab where people from all walks of life haling from the district celebrate the festival. But now it has put a question mark as to whether the festivals would be celebrated or not.

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