Police in this border town of north Kashmir's Baramulla district have asked the National Hydroelectric Power Company (NHPC) and Lower Jhelum Hydro Project (LJHP) authorities to blow the siren before releasing water from the reservoirs as it was leading to drowning incidents.
In a letter written to the General Manager NHPC 1st and Executive Engineer, LJHP Gantamulla by the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Uri Junaid Wali on Thursday reads, "A couple of sirens installed are not being regularly blown before the water is let out from reservoirs. In order to make the siren more effective, security guards of NHPC to be deployed near the siren or alarm lighting installation (sic)."
The SDPO in his letter also highlights the issue of non-availability of the siren at the dams. "The people of the adjacent villages are complaining that they have lost various human lives due to the non-availability of the siren on the banks of River Jhelum and are demanding the installation of the siren on both sides of the river on a priority basis so that such incidents can be avoided," the letter reads, a copy of which is with Greater Kashmir.
It said that the non-installation of siren and fencing accounts for negligence, and this is the primary responsibility of the agency managing the hydel projects. "It is such requested that the above-mentioned demands with respect to dam sites on river Jhelum and LJHP canal be kindly fixed," it said.
The letter also mentions the names of the youth who drowned in the river in the recent past due to the non-blowing of the siren while they had been taking the bath.
The NHPC and LJHP authorities have been criticized in the past too by the locals for not blowing the siren on time as it causes fatal incidents.