Outside the relief base camp set up by the state government at the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneur Development Institute in Pampore, Afroza, 58, is waiting for a bag of rice since morning, but her wait, like her hunger, does not seem to come to an end.
Afroza, like many other women from different areas of Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, was told to approach their respective deputy commissioner to seek any assistance, saying the government would not provide any relief to any one individually.
"My family is living on the roadside as my house is still submerged. We are dying of hunger. We have not been given anything. No blankets or food. We have knocked at every door, but to no avail," Afroza, a resident of Batamaloo area of the city, said.
"We met the DC and he gave us a letter, but these people are not allowing us to get inside and take the relief," she said.
Te state government set up the camp for receiving truckloads of relief from other parts of the country. Whatever comes to the Valley in the name of the flood relief is dumped here and then distributed to different areas on the basis of the need of the people in those areas.
"We set up this camp on September 17 and first we used to provide relief materials to anyone who had the recommendation from any concerned official of the district like a DC, or a tehsildar or a station house officer of any police station or even local mosque committees.
"But as there was a huge rush of the people seeking relief, the government decided to streamline the process of its distribution and henceforth it will be distributed to the respective DC's only and then through tehsildars to the affected people," G M Dar, additional deputy commissioner, Srinagar, one of the officers who monitor the relief at the camp, told PTI.
Dar said from Thursday the relief was not being given to the people at the individual level or through any organisation. "We consult the district administration in the process as it is them who have the appropriate details of the affected areas and people in their respective districts. So we dispatch the relief to them and then it is their duty to distribute it," Dar said.
The official said the process makes the district administration accountable for distribution of relief. "They are responsible for making sure the relief reaches the affected people. Tomorrow, if there is any complaint, they will have to face the consequences. We cannot keep an eye on where the relief reaches from here, it is the district administration which has to see to it," Dar said.
He said since the camp was set up here, 146 truckloads of relief has been received, while 165 vehicles, including trucks, mini-trucks and load carriers, have been dispatched to various districts of the Valley with relief.
"We are maintaining records of everything we receive and everything we dispatch from here. It is for the people of the Valley and we are trying our best to make sure it reaches the affected population," Dar said, adding Chief Minister Omar Abdullah personally monitors everything on a daily basis with two meeting happening everyday.
The official said the main items that are dispatched as relief include ration-kits, which comprise 5kgs of rice, one bottle of oil, a candle and match box, a packet of each of pulses, salt and sugar and spices.
"We received and then distributed two truckloads of green vegetables. But mostly, we get onions and potatoes. We have enough mineral water and medicines as well as snacks," he said, adding bleaching powder and phenyl was also distributed among the people.
Dar said they were in need of more tents and ration as the demand for these was more than anything else. "We are receiving relief everyday, but the demand is increasing. We will be receiving 20,000 tents and one lakh blankets in the coming few days but we need more ration," he said.
Photograph: Umar Ganie/Rediff