The memories still haunt

September 2014 floods took much with it, but left some eternal lessons
The memories still haunt

Who can forget the disaster that devastated the entire Kashmir valley, even areas beyond its natural limits, when in September 2014 all dry land was inundated.

The pictures and video shots of that frightful flood are still intact and one shudders while taking a look at that. The extent of damage, the loss to economy, the trauma it inflicted – all this is known to us.

What was most unsettling about that floods was the sense of being unsafe. We had forgotten the facts of our geography and climate. We had violated the age old rules for building houses, developing markets, and leaving enough spaces for the natural things to operate.

In that fateful month of September, year 2014, we woke up to this realisation that our cities, towns, and even villages are dangerously placed when it comes to floods.

That time, with that shock and awe fresh in our minds, we had written a lot about how we violated norms laid down by common sense, and practiced by our older generations, and how that resulted into this devastation. That time the government had also realised that there were some yawning gaps in the defence against floods.

In fact GK had warned about floods much earlier by carrying a front page lead story on what could happen to Srinagar. That time some sections completely ignored it, others thought of it as journalistic hyperbole, but some did sense real danger.

But nothing was done on ground to avert the danger. Finally when it hit, our worst nightmares came true. Then we vowed to be faithful to our climatic and geographic facts. Government on its part did great deal of talking on dredging spill over channels, raising embankment, reinforcing river banks, and taking a slew of others measures.

Though some work was done, soon things returned to normal apathy. On part of people it was even worse. We not only went on with our usual violations in building houses, and constructing malls, but went even beyond. This way the 2014 floods are not located in past, but are waiting for us somewhere in future. God save us.

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