High snowfall in winter poses flood risk

Admin gears up, keeps 12 lakh sandbags ready
High snowfall in winter poses flood risk
File Pic

With Kashmir recording highest snowfall in the last two decades this winter, the administration has geared up to face any eventuality that may arise anytime due to rising water levels.

According to a note of the 'minutes of a meeting' chaired byDivisional Commissioner Kashmir, all the departments have been impressed uponto fully gear up men and machinery to deal with any eventuality.

A senior official who was part of the meeting said that theadministration had initiated a slew of measures including ordering demolitionof 612 "identified encroachments" along the Jhelum and its tributaries, andasking the Irrigation and Flood Control department to keep ready sandbags atvulnerable spots in view of increasing precipitation level in Kashmir.

"There is no panic, but it is better to be prepared," anofficial said.

He said there was a clear cut direction from theadministration that there should be no delay in removing the encroachmentsidentified. "We have asked for demolition even during lockdown period."

To strengthen weak spots along the rivers and tributaries,the government has kept ready 12.6 lakh sandbags and 80,000 Geo bags atdifferent locations. Mobile Apps have also been developed for real timeinformation.

Irrigation and Flood Control department (I&FC) hasinstalled nine Automatic Water Level Recorders (WLRs) along the Jhelum atSangam, Pampore, Ram Munshi Bagh & Asham and its major tributariesincluding Sind, Lidder, Doodganga, Vaishaw & Rambiar, besides AutomaticRain Gauges at different locations.

Pertinently, post-2014 floods which devastated propertiesworth an estimated Rs 1 lakh crore in Kashmir, the government of India hadsanctioned a comprehensive flood management plan under Prime MinisterDevelopment Package.

The plan was aimed to increase the water carrying capacityof the Jhelum from Sangam to Padshaibagh to 60,000 cusecs from present 31800cusecs. The water carrying capacity of the Flood Spill Channel at off-takePadshahibagh was to be increased to 17000 cusecs from existing 4000 cusecs.

Similarly, at Ningli in Wular it was to be increased to30931 cusecs from current 20,000 and at Sopore, the Jhelum's carrying capacitywas to be increase to 61110 cusecs from existing 31,000.

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