Breach in War Kul embankments inundates 3 houses, orchard
‘AUTHORITIES WERE INDIFFERENT TO OUR PLEAS ABOUT POSSIBLE THREAT’
Ranghama (Bandipora), Feb 7: Three residential houses and a vast stretch of orchard land were inundat¬ed at Ranghama Sumlar in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district following a major breach in the embankments of War Kol. The surging water which seeped into the houses caused lot of panic among the residents of the area.
“Our villages will get submerged if nothing is done to plug the breaches which are expected to widen further if more water is released from the main Arin nallah,” said the people who are working relentlessly to stop the flow of water by using boul¬ders, fallen trees and debris to plug the huge fissures on the banks of stream.
The situation in Ranghama is alarming because of massive soil erosion. “Despite the warning by villagers, the administra¬tion did nothing substantial to counter the threat,” the residents said adding that due to nonchalance of the authorities, embankments on a 50-feet stretch were washed away causing flood like situation.
The people living along the canal said that they were having sleepless nights due to the fear that the water pressure might rupture the banks of the stream any time. “If that happens, the houses will suffer extensive damage and the people would have to migrate to safer places,” the residents said adding that many structures could also get washed away.
Sarpanch of the area, Ghulam Rasool, who was on the spot, said that it was due to sheer negligence of the Irrigation Department that the breach had occurred. “We along with the Sarpanchs of Ranghama and Sumlar had sent a written request to the department and has also informed the District Development Commissioner Bandipora about the threat as last year also we had had a narrow escape,” he explained. “The villages downstream to the canal are highly vulnerable to soil erosion during the winter season. It is for the fifth time since 2009 that embankments and bunds have been washed away,” the villagers claimed.
Meanwhile, hundreds of the families at Sumlar, Malikpora and other adjoining villages residing downstream to the canal are living under threat of soil erosion, with breaches appearing at several places in the War Kol passing through the area.
Besides, near the already weak spots along the canal, there is continu¬ous erosion along the banks that could lead to inundation of several villages in the area, said Ghulam Muhammad Malik.
“Though the banks of the canal are getting contin¬uously eroded, the authorities are yet to wake up from slumber. The people of this area have sent SOS calls to the authorities concerned, but to no avail."
Villagers told Greater Kashmir that there are many weak points on the banks of the canal which can be washed away anytime by the strong and fast currents of the water flowing through the canal.
The Additional District Development Commissioner Bandipora, Ghulam Muhammad who visited Ranghama village said the administration had started rescue work and the breach would be plugged at an earliest.
(Compiled by Suhail Ajmal)
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Feb 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Feb 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 8 Feb 2012 00:00:00 IST
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