SRINAGAR (TIP): The flood-affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir continue to suffer its devastating impact with people unable to access food, medicines and cash to buy essentials. “All the ATMs are defunct and banks are closed. People have no money. Those who have some cash left cannot buy anything as shops in Srinagar are under water,” said a resident. Worse, there is severe fuel shortage and no assured supply.

Travel has become a luxury as every drop of fuel needs to be saved. People have to travel to Ganderbal, the only district that has not been affected by the unprecedented floods. “Even if I am willing to shell out money, not a single kg of rice, dal or wheat is available. Even essential medicines are out of stock,” said Zahoor, who had travelled 30 km to get medication for his diabetic mother. Whatever stocks were available were over in no time. Medical store keepers said they were not getting fresh supplies. There is no movement of foodgrain and medicines, they said.

No dialysis machine is working in Srinagar as most hospitals are under water. The only hospital – Sher-i- Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) – is functioning but the staff is stressed out with a steady stream of patients,” said Zahoor. Eyewitnesses said there were 400 women on Saturday in the only maternity hospital – Lal Ded Hospital – in the city . “Now, it is fully under water.

We do not know what happened to the new-borns and others in the hospital.” The University of Kashmir campus and several school premises in Jammu and Kashmir have turned into relief camps. The Deccan Herald correspondent, found at least 3,000 people in the university camp. A community kitchen there managed to serve dal and rice. University Deputy Registrar Shaukat Shafi told Deccan Herald they were rationing food.

They are utilising purifiers in the laboratories to supply drinking water. Besides food in stock, local people have been donating foodgrain to the relief kitchen. “In Kashmir Valley, people store food, mainly rice, wheat and dal, in preparation for the winter. They have been donating these,” he said.

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