Srinagar, November 29 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, over 14 years after snowstorm devastated Waltengonard, a tribal hamlet in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district, the residents are still awaiting reconstruction of their houses promised by the authorities.

In 2005, a snow storm swept across the tribal hamlet and shrouded 200 houses. The snow entombed nearly 158 residents in their homes and left several others injured. The catastrophe displaced 1000 residents who are awaiting promised homes for last 14 years.

The authorities had promised re-construction of houses within one year but failed to do so. Out of total 128 proposed houses the authorities have only managed to re-construct 74 while as 54 families are still homeless.

The residents said that the authorities’ preparations for and response to the natural disaster was woefully inadequate as they could neither predict the disaster nor reconstruct the damaged houses.

“Fourteen years is a long time to live without a home. When tragedy unfolded on us, Government promised big things, but did nothing. They let us down,” a resident, Mohammad Shafi Cheehi, told media men. He said that the authorities were never serious about the issues.

Another resident, Khater Mohammad said that the authorities promised them houses within one year but they failed to deliver. “Fourteen years have passed and they have only managed to build half the number of houses, leaving a vast population homeless,” he said.

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