Mother-daughter duo washed away in Ramban flash floods

CUJ scholar among 2 missing in Samba flash floods
Police identified the mother-daughter duo as Shamima Begum and Rozia Banoo of Ramban.
Police identified the mother-daughter duo as Shamima Begum and Rozia Banoo of Ramban.Special arrangement

Ramban/Jammu: A mother-daughter duo was washed away in flash floods near the Mehar Bridge in Ramban along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway while a research scholar of the Central University of Jammu (CUJ) and a housewife were washed away in a flash flood in Samba and other districts of Jammu region on Thursday.

Police identified the mother-daughter duo as Shamima Begum and Rozia Banoo of Ramban.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, SSP Ramban Mohita Sharma said that a flash flood had been reported in Mehar and two persons were feared dead.

Police said that some cars and motorcycles were also washed away while the authorities advised people not to venture out in the open.

Police, SDRF, SOG, and Civil QRT rushed to the spot and a rescue and relief operation is underway in the flash flood-hit Mehar area.

DSP Headquarters Ramban Pardeep Singh Sen is supervising the rescue operation at Mehar.

A heavy spell of rain in the upper reaches of Neera Panchayat triggered the flash flood in a local stream, resulting in damage to a residential house near Mehar Bridge while the mother-daughter duo that was in the house at the time of the incident got washed away in River Chenab.

However, a rescue operation is going on alongside River Chenab to trace the bodies.

Locals blamed the contractor companies of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) saying that the debris accumulated under the bridge during the construction work had not been cleared due to which the downstream overflow was diverted and hit the residential house and washed away the mother-daughter duo.

Meanwhile, a research scholar of CUJ and a housewife were washed away in a flash flood triggered by heavy rainfall in Samba and other districts of the Jammu region that also destroyed roads, lanes, protection walls, and residential houses.

A Police officer said that they have launched a rescue operation to recover the missing research scholar from the flooded Badhori stream.

The missing PhD scholar of CUJ’s Chemistry Department was identified as Rishit Mitra of Kolkata.

“He was crossing the flash flood hit Badhori stream on his newly-purchased motorcycle (JK02-AT 9966) when he lost control over the wheel due to strong water current and was washed away before he could be rescued by the people,” Police said.

Police said that they recovered the motorbike of the missing research scholar and the search to recover the missing scholar was on.

Neeru Devi, wife of Kali Dass, of Ward No 4 in Samba was standing outside her residence when the flash floods washed her away, an official of the Revenue Department said.

“We are at the spot and are searching for the missing woman,” the official said.

The flash floods created mayhem in many low-lying areas of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, and other places where the flood waters entered residential colonies, damaging the structures.

Meanwhile, the Ujh rivulet was flooded with rain water and people along the bank of the rivulet were alarmed and avoided going close to the water bodies given the heavy rains in the Kathua district.

“Due to the rise in water level in River Tawi, the general public is alerted not to go near the banks of the River Tawi till further notice,” read an alert message from Deputy Commissioner, Jammu.

Meanwhile, some helpline numbers were issued for flood-related emergencies or any other emergency for the people in the Jammu district given the rising River Tawi waters.

“Tawi River was above 11 feet although the alert level is 14 feet. The river was flooded following heavy rains across the region and the upper reaches of Jammu since Wednesday night,” an official said.

He said that they were monitoring the water level in the River Tawi after every hour.

“People in Gujjar Nagar were advised to avoid coming down towards the river bank and the officials of the Ropeway Project were advised to avoid its service given the rising water level in Tawi,” an official said.

The low-lying areas of Jammu City witnessed chaos as rain waters gushed into the houses at Greater Kailash near Radha Swami Satsang Ashram in Bantalab, Talab Tillo (Ward No 41), Kalka Colony, and other residential colonies.

The situation was adverse at Circular Road where a massive landslide triggered by heavy rains buried private vehicles and the road toward Panjtirthi remained blocked for the day as the locals struggled to recover their buried vehicles.

“The authorities should have constructed a protection wall along the Circular Road for the protection of the residential houses,” said a resident pointing toward a house that had become unsafe to live in after the landslide.

“The vehicular traffic was operating normally on the Doda-Kishtwar-Udhampur route,” he said.

Meanwhile, roads in Mahore-Darmari, Chasana, and several internal roads were blocked due to landslides following rainfalls in the Reasi district.

However, some of these roads were operationalised after some time.

The situation is being assessed in Udhampur and its far-flung areas where rains lashed the villages.

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