Editorial | It still haunts

The memories of the 2014 floods will hardly fade out as the devastation that it brought was really unprecedented. There was hardly any area left unaffected. The  flood was so frightening that the stories about how people braved those days, and how lives were saved, have become folklorish. After the floods receded and people tried to get a toe hold on their respective territories, the immediate question was about rehabilitation. There was a lot of hue and cry those days and even the high court had to intervene in the matters of insurance claims. The government of the day was under tremendous pressure to announce some relief package. A survey was done and based on the assessment of the loss certain categories were framed to disburse the compensation amount. The second step was to look into the factors that led to the floods and take the necessary corrective measures. Much came into public domain on in those days and the debate lingered for months if not years.

After six years we have some sections complaining about not being rehabilitated. This is a telling inditement of the relevant departments if the losses have still not been compensated. The second element is even more disturbing. Looking at the condition of the river Jhelum and the various other water bodies, the threat of floods still looms large over Kashmir. It is unfortunate that even after a devastating flood like that of 2014 we have not learnt the required lessons. Neither has the government been serious in undertaking any comprehensive flood mitigation plan after 2014 nor have been people mindful of the same. We, as a civil society have carried on with the activities that resulted in the choking of the water channels and also closing of the flood prone areas. If that is the condition after six years of that great flood only God can save us.  On our part, government first and civil society later, we have done everything to invite the raging waters to drown us again anytime. So if, God forbid, there is a flood like situation, we have only ourselves to blame.