BY SHEERAZ WANI (SHEERWANI)
The monsoon season in Kashmir, typically spanning from June to September, showering the region with an average rainfall of around 700 mm, is a vital period for the region's ecosystem and agricultural practices.
The arrival of monsoons replenishes the water sources, giving life to the lush green meadows, vibrant flowers, and majestic forests that thrive in Kashmir.
Moreover, the rainwater collected during this season helps to sustain agriculture and meet the water requirements of the local population throughout the year.
However, the heavy downpour can sometimes lead to adverse consequences such as landslides, flash floods, water logging and also badly impacts on agriculture and horticulture as well.
1. Flood Control Infrastructure:
Over the years, the government, along with various non-government organizations, has invested significantly in flood control infrastructure. This includes the construction and maintenance of embankments, and flood channels. These measures help to regulate the flow of water during heavy rains and mitigate the risk of flooding. But still there are number of loop holes that we should cover before they make a big challenge for us and our administration.
2. Improved Weather Forecasting:
Accurate weather predictions are crucial for preparing for any potential emergencies. The meteorological department in Kashmir has been working tirelessly to enhance their forecasting capabilities, providing timely updates on rainfall patterns, possible storms, and other weather-related concerns. This enables the local administration and local population to take necessary precautions well in advance so that they may feel safe and secure.
3. Early Warning Systems:
The establishment of early warning systems in vulnerable areas has proven to be effective in minimizing damages caused by flash floods and landslides. Sirens, emergency messages, control rooms at district and tehsil headquarters, alerts through mobile applications help in evacuating residents from risk-prone areas. Additionally, these systems assist authorities in coordinating relief efforts swiftly.
4. Road Maintenance and Rescue Services:
Ensuring proper road infrastructure and regular maintenance is vital during monsoon season preparation. Efforts are made to repair and fortify roads and bridges, ensuring they can withstand heavy rainfall. Additionally, rescue services, including local volunteers, are equipped and trained to swiftly respond to any emergencies caused by landslides or road blockages.
5. Proper Drainage System:
An effective drainage system allows for the free flow of water and in many situations it reduces the chance of water building up and then reducing the chances of our property getting flooded. Mainly in urban areas a few drops of water are enough to turn our roads into flood channels everywhere. So it is very much important to have proper drainage system, so that the threat of disaster can be avoided.
6. Development with coordination:
Construction of roads along riverside or along water bodies; first the construction agency narrows the water channels or water bodies second it gives a passage to the water to come and play the game. From last 3 decades we have seen so many illegal constructions on banks of water bodies in the name of development projects.
7. Community Involvement:
The local communities in Kashmir actively participate in monsoon preparations. They organize awareness programs, setting up community centers to educate people about the dangers associated with heavy rainfall. Residents are encouraged to follow safety protocols, including avoiding flooded areas, relocating livestock if necessary, and stocking up on essential supplies. Community-driven initiatives enhance resilience and ensure a collective response during times of crisis.
Monsoon season in Kashmir, while enchanting, demands meticulous preparations to safeguard lives and infrastructure.
Through better understanding of weather patterns, flood control infrastructure, early warning systems, and community involvement, the region has made significant progress in mitigating the risks of monsoon-related disasters and still there is lot more to do in this regard to avoid the disaster.
The collaborative efforts of the government, various organizations, and the local population play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of all residents during this natural phenomenon.