Srinagar: After eleven days, life is slowly returning to normalcy in Kashmir but the extent of damage caused by devastating floods is still unfolding.
Water has receded to a large extent in Jhelum river and the main flood canal, which kept overflowing for at least three days and caused unprecedented flooding in residential areas.
A number of areas have been cleared of water while dewatering is being done in several colonies of Srinagar city by pumps of ONGC and fire services. Several areas still remain marooned, particularly in the old city, but relief material is being sent to the people who have been temporarily shifted to some safe places within the flooded areas.
As the dewatering work is progressing, people, who had left their marooned houses or were evacuated, are now going back to check the damage caused to their homes. People can be seen enquiring about each others well- being and their relatives and friends.
Each one has a story about how water suddenly started entering on September 6, first in the colonies and then into their houses. "We first thought water may rise to some level but nobody had imagined that it would come up to even 12 feet in some areas," said Mohd Shafi of Gogji Bagh area where dewatering is underway in full swing.
There are reports of thefts in the houses which had been vacated. With many main roads being cleared of water, public transport has started plying in the areas where flooding has ended and movement of people has increased, leading to traffic jams at several places. Some key roads, like the one leading to the airport, continue to be inaccessible due to water-logging.
The historic Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas and the vicinity of Badami Bagh Cantonment are still flooded. Shops are also being reopened with the owners trying to retrieve whatever material has escaped the water fury. The situation on availability of essential supplies, like vegetables and LPG which had suddenly become rare, is also improving. The power scenario is also better as also the communication network.