11 months on, authorities sit on strengthening of Jhelum embankments

Despite passing of 11 months since the devastating floods ravaged Srinagar, authorities are yet to repair damaged embankments of river Jhelum.
11 months on, authorities sit on strengthening of Jhelum embankments
File Photo

Despite passing of 11 months since the devastating floods ravaged Srinagar, authorities are yet to repair damaged embankments of river Jhelum. 

The repaired embankments have developed cracks at several places posing risk to lives and property of people living near the banks of Jhelum. 

Pertinently, major breaches in river embankments had led to devastation of Srinagar and its adjoining areas in September last year. Crumbling and weak embankments has become a cause of worry for people living in the low-lying areas of Srinagar including  Rajbagh, Padshahi Bagh, Shivpora, Kursoo, Mehjoor Nagar and Hamdaniya Colony Bemina 

"Our houses were devastated when waters of Jhelum breached embankments last year. Now, whenever it rains or water level in Jhelum increases, we migrated to safer places as the repaired embankments cannot withstand the pressure," said a group of residents of Shivpora.  

"Authorities have been sitting over this serious issue. They have failed to strengthen the flood defense mechanism in Srinagar thus putting the lives and property of people at stake," they added.

The residents said there is possibility of breaches near Batwara, Shivpora, Rajbagh "The Irrigation and Flood Control department used sub-standard material and did not adopt scientific methods to repair the damaged embankments in Srinagar," they alleged. 

Ajaz Rasool, a noted environmentalist and hydraulic engineer said after the last year's floods, only temporary restoration of embankments was undertaken. 

"Permanent restoration has not been carried out. There is subsidence of cracks in these repaired embankments. It is settling naturally and that is why cracks are developing on it," he said. 

Elaborating, he said due to floods, Jhelum has lost its carrying capacity. "The river has been extensively silted up around nine feet. Government needs to undertake dredging and reinforce the embankments on priority," he said.  

Chief Engineer Flood and Irrigation Control Javid Jaffar did not respond to repeated call for comments

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