SRINAGAR: The Irrigation and Flood Control department has declared floods in Srinagar as the river Jhelum is flowing more than one foot above the level at which floods are formally declared. The level is still increasing, officials said.
“The habitation residing along the embankments River Jhelum / Nallahs and in low lying areas of central Kashmir are advised to remain vigilant,” a communication from the department to the government said. The communication was issued after the 1 am when the gauge level at Ram Munish Bagh was at 19 ft, one ft above the red level.
Though the raining has stopped in most of south Kashmir, the rivulet and the rivers are still getting a lot of water. The level at Sangam was 23.80 ft, which is 2.80 ft above the food declaration level. The level at downstream Asham is still far away from the danger mark but the surge will push the gauge up soon. It was 6.91 ft at 1 am.
By 2 am, the level had reached 23.84 ft at Sangam and 19.45 ft at Ram Munshi Bagh as Asham appreciated by 7.16 ft.
Even the tributaries of Jhelum are getting a lot of discharge. The fast flowing Veshu was flowing at 8.53 meters at Khudwani gauge and the torrent Rambi Ara was 4.07 meters at Wachi which means a lot of more water is coming. Even the Lidder Nalla was measured at 1.54 meters at Batkoot.
As these waters will get into the Jhelum the levels are expected to go up, more. It depends on the strength of embankments to ensure that there are no breaches.
At around 1 am, the Jhelum at Budshah Bridge was looking dark and ferocious. The sluggish and silent river was very noisy which indicates the velocity and the volume.
There was not much of water in the Flood Spill Channel though. Seemingly, it was blocked by the diversion near Mehjoor Nagar or was still not in use. There was not any official who could offer details of the low discharge into the channel. There are at least two additional bridges and a diversion that appeared on the channel after the 2014 floods. The channel flowing through Barzalla was filled to the brim.
Residents living on the banks of Jhelum are awake and not sleeping. Some in Rajbagh and Shivpora are literally guarding the embankments at places where it breathed last time.
An official manning the gauge at Ram Munshi Bagh said it is still not dangerous. “It is under control as we have three more feet to go to a really alarming situation,” the official said. “The fact is that the level is receding. Earlier, it was increasing by around 1.5 ft an hour at Sangam and almost a ft at Ram Munshi Bagh. But now the levels are receding – the net increase is in inches which means it is under control.”