Since May1 at least 40 shocks, aftershocks and tremors have been reported in the area and from Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Union Health and Family welfare Minister visited the area but even their presence could not make difference in the lives of local residents in the area.
The state leaders have been desperately pleading their case for special assistance but not a single penny has been spent on ground zero to either repair the damaged houses or worse affected school and hospital buildings. (Politics of Relief package for Quake hit Districts)
The state government is still hoping to receive some assistance from the centre even as the UPA government has only paid lip service instead of granting approval to the 607 crore special assistance to the state. (Doda residents continue to wait for the relief)
Ironically, the issue of adequate quake relief to affected population in Doda and Kishtwar districts has been embroiled in competitive politics but it is the students of the region who are suffering the most in the absence of start of repair work of damaged school buildings.
According to official sources, In Doda district, quakes and aftershocks caused damage to 494 schools, 12 primary health centres and 273 community centres. In Kishtwar, 169 schools were damaged.
In contrast, according to local teachers and parents of the students the state/centre govt has failed to carry out any repair work and the students are left with no other option but to study in the open.
In case of regular rains and threats of fresh tremors the students are sent home by the school authorities. The parents of the students have been pleading before the school authorities to exercise caution and ensure safety of their children while they are in school but the school teachers feel they are helpless too as frequent earthquakes have created fear psychosis in the minds of every single individual and made their job very tough.
The state govt on its part also failed to kick start the repair work as the major task of compensating the victims of the earthquake is a bigger challenge at hand before the state govt. Arrival of winters in the coming months is bothering local residents as they have been forced to stay awake in the open as they fear sleeping under the badly damaged structures.