After stabilizing for a while through mid-Ramzan, the weather in Kashmir has become uncertain again. The past week has been marked by the lightening, rain and the windstorms.
Many areas have witnessed cloudbursts leading to loss of lives. At the Kullan village in Kangan the cloudburst killed five people. There have been deaths in other parts of the Valley too.
The intermittent rains have also disrupted the Amarnath yatra. In one of the consequences, the bad weather has forced the makers of Bollywood movie Fitoor to relocate to Poland, a development that is not good for the Valley's renewed importance as the Bollywood's favourite shooting destination.
However, the biggest fear remains the flood. What if the Valley once again experiences the uninterrupted two to three day rainfall? Considering the erratic weather this year, such a prospect isn't unlikely. What is doubtful is the state government's ability to face up to this. Part due to administrative inertia, part crippled by the delay in the release of funds by the centre, the government has built little defense against an extended rainfall. Can Jhelum carry now more water than it did last year?
Not at all. Similarly, can the spill channel carry the more excess discharge than it did last year? The answer is again no. Does Government have the option to drown uninhabited land mass around Srinagar to save the city? It hasn't as virtually all the land around or on the outskirts of the city has been occupied and built up.
This leaves the government with the existing facilities which have to be improved and expanded. The fixes have to be executed simultaneously with a constant threat of flood. After the record September flood, the administration didn't gear up on war footing as was expected. This is why, the scare after scare should jolt us out of slumber. We can't tarry anymore.