Cracks within the state Congress are widening with senior leader and Health minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din Wednesday alleging that Flood Control minister Sham Lal Sharma has little knowledge over the functioning of the Department and due to ‘non-serious’ approach Srinagar city was drowned.
Taj Mohi-ud-din who has headed the Flood Control ministry in the past, accused present PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control minister Sham Lal Sharma of adopting non-serious approach vis-à-vis taming September’s devastating floods, saying had the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) adopted during floods, Srinagar would have been saved sans any devastation.
Taj told KNS that the regular patrolling over the rivers was not carried during floods resulting in breach of river Jehlum at several places. He also castigated Sharma for his ‘carelessness’ and ‘non- seriousness’ which led to the wide scale disaster in Kashmir including Srinagar.
“It was unexpected that waters with such huge quantity could enter Srinagar and drown it dreadfully. This was unbelievable for all of us that waters above 15ft entered Srinagar and devastated the business hub Lal chowk,” Taj told KNS.
“Sham Lal Sharma doesn’t know how to run his ministry. The carelessness led to devastation. His abrupt reactions over my earlier revelations about floods clearly reveal that he has been unnerved and has no patience to hear out the truth,” he claimed.
The Health Minister added that four battalions of NDRF arrived in valley and that the concerned ministry also failed to utilize their services on ground. “I believe that if serious attitude would have been adopted and regular patrolling alongside the side would have been carried, Srinagar could have been saved along with other areas as well,” Taj said.
The Minister remarked that breaches witnessed in the river Jehlum happened because of the failure in adoption of the SOP and had the patrolling alongside the river done properly same could have been avoided.
Pertinently, breaches alongside Jehlum turn out to be a debatable issue with army and some civil society members accusing that the state authorities failed to tackle flood crises and that the delay done in breaching the Kandzal embankment drowned the summer capital.
Also after the remarks of the army that government delayed the breach of Kandzal embankment, PHE and Irrigation minister Sham Lal Sharma came out in open snubbing the army by asking it not to judge the performance of the state government.