Between Mufti And Floods: A Two Foot Mark

KL Report

Srinagar

Regardless of its visible and effective presence in Srinagar, Mufti Sayeed led government took a long time in deciding its next course of action. A senior minister told in TV that “technically” there is danger of floods but “officially” it is not! Another minister, this one from BJP in Jammu, said the opposition was behind the panic that news media was reporting.

The fact is that the level of surging Jhelum has crossed the ‘alarm’ level at Sangam in Islamabad and Ram Munshi Bagh in Srinagar. This level is barely two feet less than the mark when the floods are formally declared. That is the net difference, right now, between the September 2014 and the March 2015, the two eras managed by two regimes.

Status of the gauge released by the Irrigation and Flood Control Department at 9 pm suggests that the river was flowing at 18 ft at Sangam and 16 ft at RamMunshi Bagh. Given the gradual pace with which the river level increased during the day, it is clear that this night is going to be the main game changer.

For the whole day, authorities were reassuring people that they should not panic. But given the warning that it is going to rain for some more days, authorities needed to be slightly realistic also. Reports from south kashmir suggest all the rivulets are flowing ferociously devastating whatever comes in their way. All this water eventually finds its exit into the Jhelum and has to pass through the city. They relied heavily on statistics and skipped conventional wisdom.

At 9 pm, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Farooq A Lone informed Kashmir Life about the decision that the government has taken – stay safe by skipping getting near the water bodies, shift out the aged and frail.

How will people move out of their homes right now when most of the city Is water logged? Where will they go right now? Had this announcement been made slightly earlier, it would have been easier and better? But that is something that will now be debated by the politicians within and outsude the state assembly for a long time.

Given the sutuation that is arising out of the situation, right now the onus lies on civil society. The youth must get ready to face the situation and officials must ensure all cooperation to the bravehearts to manage the mess that looks more imminent now.

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