Learnt some lessons please
Kashmir Valley is witnessing an unprecedented seasonal change. We have entered February month and the temperature in Kashmir valley is much below the normal that would otherwise be experienced here during this part of the year.
Apart from the change in temperature we are also witnessing an increased downpour during the last few months. The phenomenon has led to an increased worry among the entire population for various reasons including the increased water level in all major rivers and tributaries.
The situation has become such that just a day’s downpour leads to a panicky situation in entire Kashmir region as people fear for floods, the worst nightmare the people fear since the September 2014 deluge left almost the entire population effected.
Any prolonged period of rains in Kashmir is enough to trigger floods and the blame can be put straightaway on the unplanned dredging of river Jehlum, weak river embankments and ill-preparation of the government to deal with the rising waters. The governments lackadaisical attitude indicates that no lessons have been learnt from the deadly deluge of September 2014.
Post September 2014 nothing concrete was done on ground to prevent damage of such a huge volume. The PDP-BJP government made tall claims about dredging of river and raising the height of river embankments, but the ground situation tells a different story. In Srinagar’s Shivpora area an entire stretch of Jhelum bund has caved in causing a serious worry and concern among the local population. This time around also the administration responded with some photo ops with a senior district functionary visiting the site and assuring the people of taking action to rectify the damage.
As we all know that winter is coming to an end in Kashmir and rainy season is all set to begin from mid February. The wet season will continue till June end which has raised concerns among the local population in the area.
What is worrying is that no concrete and modern ways of dealing with the flood like situation have been adopted by the government. The administration still relies on sand filled polythene bags to control the situation and once the flood threat is over even this cosmetic measure vanishes in thin air.
This being the reason that the Jhelum embankments across Srinagar city have witnessed a neglect which can prove catastrophic once the water level in Jhelum rises owing to severe or even a mild downpour.
Just the two days of rains during July last year resulted in many major breaches in Vaishow Nallah in South Kashmir that is the main tributary feeding the river Jhelum. Similar complaints were received from many other areas across Kashmir as people at most of the places were themselves trying to rectify the fault lines left unattended on the various embankments.
The governments should at least this time wakeup from its slumber and ensure that Jhelum embankments are repaired before it is too late.