Third Flood Threat in a Year Caught Govt Napping

Shakir Mir

SRINAGAR

Larki Pora Bridge

No sooner it rained for just one day than the water level in Jhelum registered a steep increase, to say nothing about the grim prospect that scheduled monsoons of later summers are going to posit.

It is the third time that Jhelum has breached the danger mark in a year. Heavy rainfall has lashed many parts Kashmir region with weather officials predicting more downpour till June 28th.

Jhelum at Ram Munshibagh is flowing at 20.50 ft, nearly two feet above the danger mark. At Sangam, in Islamabad, the level hit the danger mark on the Wednesday evening. An advisory issued by the Irrigation and Flood Control (IFC), cautioned the habitation residing along the Vishaw Nallah in Kulgam district to move towards safer places. By 7am on Thursday, the IFC declared the floods in central Kashmir.

Reports coming from South Kashmir’s Qazigund said that a residential house along with a cowshed were washed away in flash floods in YK Pora area. However, there was no report of any casualties, they added.

South Kashmir’s Islamabad town was gripped in panic with people, especially shopkeepers shifting merchandise to safer locations.

“Dangerpora, Achajipora and Danter areas of the town have submerged in waters and people are being shifted to safer places,” a local from South Kashmir told Kashmir Life.

In the morning vehicular traffic was closed down along the highway due to landslides, reports said.

Even though the government officials are downplaying the flood threat, but experts’ fear that amid rising water level, a mere breach along Jhelum embankment may posit dangerous implications.

The reasons behind the swift rise of water level, experts say, is the fact that last year’s devastating floods had led to a massive siltation in the river Jhelum resulting into a considerable decrease in its carrying capacity.

Siltation, by definition, implies the reduction in the depth of rivers which is why a slightly greater discharge of water results into sudden hike in the water level.

Apparently the authorities undertook very little or no dredging at all during the winter season, which is its ideal time, when the thaw on mountains results into lower discharge of water in rivers.

Reason?

Administration was simply busy gearing up for elections and then Omar-led coalition government had relinquished the control, wasting away the crucial two months when more could have been done to avert the situation like todays.

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