In the aftermath of 2014 floods, the government made tall claims to prevent such disasters in the future. However, most of the government announcements have been confined to papers only.
It has been after over four years that government has decided to conduct the audit of rivers embankments in Kashmir.
“Chief Engineers of Irrigation and Flood Control department have been directed to conduct zoning of river Jhelum and other streams and conduct safety audit of river embankments of Jhelum and other streams especially at vulnerable spots and plug it at an earliest besides also conduct physical survey of the encroachments in nallahs and rivers and ensure their immediate removal and store geo bags in advance,” a source told KNS.
The DCs have been directed to collect an information of resources, including men, low lying areas, satellite phones, availability of geo quality of sand bags, JCBs, ambulances, tents, de-watering pumps, evacuation plan, storage of essential commodities, list of nodal officers, water tankers, water supply schemes, NGOs working for disaster management.
Similarly, the government has hired a Spanish firm to conduct a study on the river Jhelum for preventing floods in Kashmir.
“The expert team of the company has started morphology study on Jehlum. It will conduct the study for a year,” an official said.
After 2014 deluge, the government had announced that dredging of river Jhelum would be completed by December 2016 to prevent floods in future.
The drudging of Jhelum was to be carried in two phases to increase its carrying capacity.
After missing several deadlines, the deadline for phase I was extended to March 31, 2018. However, the company failed to meet the final deadline as well and phase II is yet to be started.
Government has also announced that an alternate flood channel would be constructed of Jhelum in Kashmir to prevent Valley from floods.
The Union Ministry of Water Resources in December 2014 asked the state government for framing of the DPR for the 80-km Dogripora channel to be constructed from Awantipora in south Kashmir to Wular lake in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
Under this mega project, a new flood channel was to be created from Dogripora to Wullar to carry the surplus flood discharge of Jehlum, which is expected to cost over Rs 18,000 crore. “But during the last over four years, the detailed project report could not be framed,” the official said.
Another project was reconstruction of river Jehlum embankments that had crumbled at various places by 2014 floods.
“Nothing has been done in these years, except dredging at few spots and refilling of patches of Jehlum’s embankments, which were washed by 2014 floods,” the official said. (KNS)