Eight years have passed since the devastating floods of September, 2014. But, have we really learnt any serious lesson from it? How prepared are we at the government and non-government levels to face such a situation in future? After the 2014 floods, the main focus till now has been on rebuilding the damaged infrastructure.
But what about the preparedness for the future in water and flood management, and early warning communication systems? It is not too late now.
While focus on rebuilding the infrastructure is important but preparedness for future is equally important and it cannot be ignored. Lessons learnt from the 2014 floods can be utilised for future strategies.
After losing lives, suffering losses of thousands of crores of rupees due to damage to the property and undergoing a nightmarish experience, if we do not want to learn from past, we may suffer more badly in future in such situations.
Getting panicky now after heavy rains and rise of water level in rivers, nallahs and lakes is not a solution. Analysing where we are going wrong and rectifying the mistakes is imperative. There is no end to encroachments on water bodies and neighbouring areas.
More residential houses and other buildings continue to come up in low lying flood prone areas. The complacency may be also because of a general feeling or view here that the 2014 like flood occurs once in 100 years.
Jammu and Kashmir has suffered badly in 2014 and so badly that the World Bank sponsored Jehlum Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP) is still busy rebuilding and restoring the damaged public critical infrastructure.
It has been reconstructing and restoring damaged public buildings including hospitals, schools, higher and technical education buildings, and fire stations and also reconstructing damaged roads and bridges.
Out of the total 213 JTFRP sub-projects costing Rs 428.79 crore, 132 sub-projects have been completed during the last two years. Work on remaining 81 sub-projects is in progress.
JTFRP too must focus on future strategies. The concerned government departments while taking necessary steps must also guide people, where they are going wrong and what corrective measures need to be taken in the best interests of all.