Who is Responsible?

A little shower and a flood a like situation
A man stands outside his house in north Kashmir's Pattan as his lawn is flooded amid incessant rains in the Valley, Wednesday 22 June 2022.
A man stands outside his house in north Kashmir's Pattan as his lawn is flooded amid incessant rains in the Valley, Wednesday 22 June 2022.File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

The rainy season remains a source of inspiration for poets. They often portray this season beautifully in their poems. While describing the drops of rain in their writings, they are using metaphors like drops of pearls, golden bubbles, spherical balls etc.

But for our new generation who are living in this part of the world, Jammu and Kashmir, rain means flood, fear, and havoc. This negative feeling with regard to rain is genuine because our generation often experiences the flood like situation everywhere, even if it’s a mild rainfall. They don’t enjoy the showers like we used to enjoy during our childhood days.

A few drops of water are enough to turn our roads into flood channels everywhere; be it cities, towns or villages.

The devastating situation created by floods not only puts negative impact on livelihoods, production, and infrastructures but it also has prolonged psycho-social impacts.

The causes of flood may be different for urban and rural areas, but one common cause is the illegal encroachment on the banks of water bodies. We have squeezed these water bodies.

Thirty years of long turmoil in the valley gave unscrupulous persons an opportunity to erect concrete establishments in the form of residential buildings or business units/shops on the banks of these water bodies. Even the attitude of the concerned government departments remains hostile towards these water bodies.

While constructing any road along the river or stream side, the construction agencies narrow down the width of these water bodies in order to give the unnecessary width to the roads in the name of development.

But, what really surprised a common man is how come an individual or group avail the basic amenities in the name of the basic rights for their illegal establishments? Be it a residential house or any commercial business units/shops existing on the illegal land.

It is an unfortunate situation that these illegal establishments enjoy more facilities like water connection, electric connection, and macadamized foot paths/ roads than those which are existing on genuine land.

Any individual, whether in a private capacity or a Government official involved in giving undue passage for these land grabbers or shielding them is actually ruining the future of our generation. Whenever such devastating situations would occur due to floods, our future generation will always curse us.

The harsh memories of heavy monsoon rains that began on September 2, 2014 that led to unprecedented flooding and landslides across JK are still fresh. One of the case studies conducted post flood 2014 revealed that 10,136,063 population got affected.

It gave a big setback to our domestic economy. There are some families or individuals who are still recovering from that painful experiences of the past.

If we are really sincere about our future generation, we should work for sustainable development; say goodbye to our selfish nature that made us completely blind.

Let us play a responsible role to erase the fear among our kids that they have developed in their minds regarding the rain and rainy season. The government officials who are supposed to take care of these water bodies should realize that they are part of the same society.

During floods, speedy flow of water doesn’t differentiate. It washes away everything that may come on its way, whether big or small, rich or poor.

During this prevailing situation when the entire world is facing severe social, economic, psychological and health problems our society can’t tolerate another spell of flood.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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