Pul Doda to be history
J&K's Famed Town Submerges Due To Rising Chenab Waters; Admn Caught Napping
Jammu, July 10: Pul Doda, the highway town that has connected tourist hubs in Jammu and Kashmir for many years, will soon disappear from the state’s map as the rising Chenab river waters wash it away.
Pul Doda is the last point of the 50 sq km lake made of Chenab river water that feeds the Baglihar hydro-electric project downstream.
And as the Chenab water rises -- thanks to rapid melting of snow in the mountains and heavy rains in the catchment areas -- the historic town has began submerging in water.
And once the Chenab waters throw a water blanket on the town, Pul Doda, also known for its historic temples, would be lost forever.
“The waters have risen by four meters and are to rise further,” Doda Deputy Commissioner Farooq Khan told IANS.
He said the state government had paid the land compensation to those living in the area while the power project was being constructed.
While the majority of the population has shifted, about 180 families have resisted eviction, demanding rehabilitation.
“We were promised compensation for the loss of our houses and land and also rehabilitated somewhere else, but the government is shying away from fulfilling the second part of the promise,” said Abdul Karim, a resident of the town.
The houses, mosques, temples -- everything is in deep water and the administration is threatening to take action against those refusing to leave.
“The administration will not allow these people to stay on and risk their lives, we will evict them if need be,” Farooq Khan said.
Pul Doda, on Batote-Kishtwar highway, is some 170 km from here, six km from district headquarters of Doda, 30 km from Bhaerwah -- a tourist hub, and 60 km short of Kishtwar -- the hub of hydro-electric projects.
Locals said that the district administration was caught napping when the river water started flowing into the residential and commercial structures in the township. “Traffic was plying on the road, which was partially under water from last two months, and the district administration was unable to open the alternate route, thus risking the lives of civilians,” Abdul Subhan, a local alleged.
He said that the alternate road was not ready for traffic. “The new road is completely an engineering disaster. The steep slope in and around 1 kilometer stretch of the road has made it completely difficult for plying of heavy vehicles.”
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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