Fresh floods in Kashmir damage homes, snap road connectivity!
-Abdul Ruff Colachal
Kashmir, gifted with nature’s bounty, is also the zone badly affected by natural calamities. Kashmiris continue to suffer even otherwise!
Latest flash floods triggered by incessant rain have damaged scores of houses, school buildings and other structures besides snapping road connectivity in the Kashmir Valley, an official said on March 29 Sunday. Over 80 structures, including residential homes, school buildings and other structures, have suffered damage due to flash floods since Saturday in Srinagar.
The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed following landslides at a number of places on Sunday. The Srinagar-Gulmarg road was also closed after a bridge in Kunzar village was washed away by the swollen Ferozepur Nallah.
There was water-logging in many commercial and residential areas in Srinagar.
However, the water level in the Jhelum River was below the danger mark, both at Sangam in Anantnag district and at Ram Munshibagh in Srinagar.
Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed took stock of the flood threat and reviewed the preparedness of the administration that has already been put on high alert. The University of Kashmir has postponed all examinations scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.
The local meteorological department has forecast moderate rain in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday and decrease in precipitation thereafter. Late at night, state government finally conceded and has announced flood warning, although earlier Met department had said chances are little, cautioning against panic
Sonam Lotus, director of the meteorological office, had on Sunday dismissed any flood threat to the Kashmir Valley. Lotus told IANS on Sunday: “Although there has been a rise in the water level of rivers and streams in the Kashmi Valley due to overnight incessant rains, there is no reason to worry. Every downpour and precipitation does not bring a flood. There is little likelihood of any flood in the valley because of the current western disturbance. There will be a decrease in precipitation tomorrow onwards.
Another western disturbance is likely to hit the state on April 2 but that is going to be weaker than the present one. “Therefore, I do not think we are facing a flood threat this time although mountain streams need to be watched for any sudden rise that can cause local damage and trigger landslides.” Lotus, however, advised people to exercise caution on the Srinagar-Jammu highway which he said could get blocked due to landslides in Ramban district.
In wake of heavy rainfall in Kashmir valley, the Jammu and Kashmir state government on Sunday deputed four ministers to monitor rising water levels in Kashmir valley. Even Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is on his way to Srinagar to personally monitor the arising situation.
Heavy rains have lashed the Kashmir valley since last evening leading to sudden surge in water level of rivers, streams and rivulets, causing panic among the residents about possibility of fresh floods even as the MeT department warned of week Long wet weather in the state. Hundreds of families putting up in houses near the banks of river Jhelum from Nayina to Lethpora area have started shifting to safer locations in view of increase in water level in the river, reports said Sunday. Fearing that the river might swell again as it did during devastating floods in September last year, panicky residents have started relocating.
A special control room has been established at Police headquarter Srinagar to monitor the situation. The helpline numbers of the control room are 2452138, 2474040.
Hopefully the central government would rush all needy help to Kashmir without delay so that people and their properties can be saved.