While encroachments and accumulation of silt in river Jhelum has become a source of flood threats to Kashmir, a l report of the Irrigation and Flood Control department has suggested the state government to prepare a 'Preventive Master Plan' for flood prone areas in the summer capital to mitigate 2014 floods-like damage.
The draft report tilted as "State Water Policy" prepared by the Irrigation and Flood Control Department states that there is need of preparation of 'Preventive' Master Plan for the flood prone areas.
The need for preparation of Master Plan for flood prone areas has arisen after large number of "illegal colonies" were established post 1990s during turmoil, officials informed.
"Detailed guidelines shall be notified for preparation of a master plan for flood prone areas with a view to indicating the measures to control the floods and providing protection against the floods," reads draft of maiden State Water Policy.
"Measures to establish the extensive networks for flood forecasting to give timely warnings to the people likely to be effected shall also be outlined. A roadmap for determination of the limits of the flood basins and the necessary exercises to be carried out shall be prepared," it adds.
"The history of J&K is rife with frequent floods which have often led to inundation of villages; and large scale destruction of agricultural crops and consequent famines. The flood in the state are mainly caused due to heavy rainfall in the higher catchments, rapid glacial-melt and snow-melt coupled with cloudbursts," the report adds.
Before the recent floods of September 2014, the State has witnessed major floods in 1900, 1902, 1903, 1905, 1912, 1929, 1948, 1950, 1955, 1957 and 1959. Floods were also witnessed in 1976, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1995,1997 and in September 2006. The devastating floods of September 2014 resulting in loss of land, lives, houses, public infrastructure, and business hubs.
Since 2014 deluge, Kashmir has faced flood threats six times.
Last week panic had gripped Srinagar and its adjoining districts following the flood declaration by the Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) department. The warning forced the people living alongside the river banks to take precautions for preventing any possible damage.
The river was flowing at 21.90 feet at Sangam, 20.15ft at Ram Munshibagh feet and 12.41 feet at Asham.
The I&FC department declares floods when the river swells to 21 feet at Sangam, 18 feet at Ram Munshibagh, and 14 feet at Asham.
The State Water Policy draft stressed on the measures to protect the natural drainage systems with a view to removing artificial barriers in the path of excess drainage water.
"Operating procedures for reservoirs shall be evolved and implemented in such a manner so as to have flood cushion and reduce trapping of sediments during flood seasons," it read.