Srinagar: Terming the callous and lackadaisical approach towards the peoples’ issues especially threat of floods as unfortunate, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday said that just two days of rainfall in the Valley punctures the all claims of the administration as the flood threat looms large across the region which brings back the haunting memories of deadly deluge of 2014.
Addressing Friday gathering at the historic Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz said that it was so unfortunate that all the successive regimes and administrations made tall claims of framing a foolproof flood prevention plan but all remained confined to lip servicing only. He said in today’s age of science and technology, the present administration doesn’t even come with any concrete plan or any use of technology to deal with the flood threat which is quite ironical.
The chief cleric said that Jehlum flood channel has an absorption capacity of just 4000 cusecs due to siltation. If proper dredging is done under a plan the holding capacity can increase to more than 30000 cusecs due to ill-conceived plans of dredging that was left midway, and the blockade and encroachment of all the erstwhile flood channels that used to flush out the waters of Jehlum in times of flood threats.
He said that ironically not even a single flood spill channel was constructed by any of the previous regimes let alone the present administration. He said despite knowing the fact that Kashmir was vulnerable to rainfall and rise in water level due to its topography and weather conditions, the successive regimes gave illegal permissions to the hotels and other illegal constructions on the banks of flood channels and also on the banks of river Jehlum.
Mirwaiz said that major flood channels that include Gilsar, Khushal Sar, Anchar, Wular and Brari Nambal have more or less vanished and there is a mushrooming growth of illegal constructions while as successive regimes acted as mute spectators making Kashmir more vulnerable to catastrophe.
He said that while all the previous regimes are too held responsible for their failures, people of Kashmir themselves are also to be blamed. He said we also need to introspect and identify our own mistakes. He said that many places locals have illegally occupied government land, streams, river banks, and the corners at flood-spill channels and constructed hotels, houses, mosques, Darsgahs, and even graveyards, etc adding to their own miseries during rains.
Mirwaiz said that illegal encroachment and constructions have to be stopped and people made to take responsibility for their actions. He asked the administration to come up with a modernized flood prevention plan and to give special attention to dredging and opening of flood channels so that flood like the situation is doesn’t occur with every spell of rainfall. He also asked the government to remove the encroachments on traditional flood spill channels so that Kashmir doesn’t come on the brink of flood threat just after every two days of rainfall.