A senior Congress minister Saturday contradicted Army’s claims that Kandizal breach would have saved city during the recent devastating floods, asking it not to interfere into the matters of the state administration.
Reacting to the Army claims, PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Minister Sham Lal Sharma said that army must not judge the performance of the state government and that its claims over the Kandzal was not based on facts. “Everyone cannot be the hydraulic expert and the way the state administration performed in the midst of the floods was exemplary,” he told KNS
The Army had earlier said that the authorities did not open the Kandzal embankment of river Jhelum upstream. It added that there was a proposal to divert the river upstream and army sent its engineers too. But it was already too late.
“The army claims that Kandizal breach was delayed which drowned the city but how this assessment could is based on facts. The Kandizal breach was carried out on September 4 and the flood waters entered into the city on September 7,” Sharma said, adding that he doesn’t want to enter into the blame game.
The minister added that the claims of the state government have been vindicated by the Centre Water Commission also and the satellite pictures clearly reveal that 1,13000 cusecs of water had entered while as Jehlum and other flood channels have the capacity of 40,000 cusecs. It was a disaster, Sharma added.
He claimed further that the army itself stands witness to the fact that how the state government acted on war footing grounds in the midst of the floods. “We had the brigadier of the army at Sangam control room. We were fully in contact with the army and it knows everything. Now the blame game would be indeed unfortunate.”
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) in the recent past told reporters that the government failed to take precautionary measures during floods. “The authorities did not open the Kandzal embankment of river Jhelum upstream. There was a proposal to divert the river upstream and we sent our engineers too. But it was already too late,” he said.
He said the army had no objection to opening of Kandzal embankment. “We had no problem with it,” said Major General Das.
The army officer said all its personnel, arms and ammunitions were saved from the floods which submerged the Badamibagh cantonment area up to 15 feet.