Panic In Parts of South, One Breach near Pampore Being Plugged

Srinagar

As raining resumed in parts of South Kashmir, the level of panic has gone up in Kashmir, especially in the low lying areas. Though there is no visible tension in Srinagar where there is still a lot of capacity between the river’s two banks to accommodate more water, it is literal crisis upstream around Lasjan, Pampore, and Sonawar belts.

Locals while helping the irrigation people in plugging the breach near Gallander Pampore, Pic: Mehraj Bhat

A major breach was reported near Gallander and a huge volume of water is gushing into the right side. This, locals said could take the longer route to Chandhara, the famous village of Haba Khatoon, or to parts of Pampore, if the volume is up. Authorities have put in a huge effort to plug the breach but it is still flowing fast.

There are hundreds of people helping the irrigation people in plugging the breach but it is becoming very difficult, individuals who spoke from the spot said. Unofficially, they have told the people that they must stay ready. This was done in wake of a widening crack on the bank closer to the mulberry at Gallander.

Sandbags used by the people to block the water near Gallendar in Pampore.

Hundreds of residents from Lasjan are on the banks of the river. They say they have already taken their belongings out and away from their homes. Now they are helping the irrigation people in adding to the defenses of the bank by putting in hundreds of sandbags on the bank. But the level is steeply going up, they said.

Officials manning the Ram Munshi Bagh observation post said that the level had started showing a low increase since late last night but then it started increasing massively. The gauge level was at 19:45 ft at 2 am in the night. Ten hours later, the gauge reading is 20.93 ft. However, this level is almost stagnated for three hours – since 11 am. The department declares flood when the gauge level is 18 ft. However, Jhelum has some more ft within Srinagar to accommodate more discharge, the officials said.

Upstream, at Sangam, the level is gradually falling. In last 12 hours, the level has not even increased by one ft. It was 23.53 ft at 11 pm, last night, and then it started getting down from 4 am till it reached 23.06 at 10 am. However, it started slowly getting down and is now at 23.02 ft, a mild increase by 0.01 ft in an hour. The level for floods at Sangam is 21 ft.

Authorities have closed the road to south Kashmir from Pampore but the new highway is operational. At certain places, some patches of the old highway are inundated, reports said. Even outside the Badamibagh cantonment, the situation is seriously impassable. There are hundreds of vehicle queued up after their engines jammed because of water.

A view of Jehlum at Budshah bridge in Srinagar, KL photo by Bilal Bahadur

In Srinagar, the scare is there but life is going on. Reports suggest that Hamdania Colony and parts of Qamarwari belt are inundated. People in certain areas have started taking safe routes to live and immovable possessions.

Weatherman Sonam Lotus said Srinagar will be all right in the afternoon but there is the possibility of more rains in South Kashmir. In fact in certain areas, the rains have resumed, especially on the Yatra track in Pahalgam. Baseer Khan, the Divisional Commissioner said the water level in the south is gradually getting down though it is increasing in the city areas. He has asked people to stay alert.

Kashmir Life reporter from Awantipore said the level has started reducing.

Residents said the banks of the river have grown weak at the spots that machines used to get into the river for drudging. They said the Gallander breach is one such spot.

The situation in Srinagar uptown is all right. The flow in the Doudh Ganga that drains the Budgam forests was surging with the flow but is now calmly flowing with low discharge.

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