PDP led government did nothing to avert floods, say experts

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Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, July 1: Just one and a half day of rain created a flood scare across Kashmir. Had the rains not stopped by now half of the Valley would have been marooned.
“When floods submerged Kashmir in 2014 Omar Abdullah led government was about to complete its term and it couldn’t do much for the people,” said an observer.
He said that Kashmir witnessing one of the worst floods of the century in 2014 also went against National Conference as the people blamed the then government for failing to save the Valley. “The PDP leaders who were in Opposition at that point of time launched a scathing attack at the National Conference led government and assured the people that once the party (PDP) comes into power it would ensure that carrying capacity of rivers and tributaries would be increased so that the floods are averted,” the observer said.
He said that despite remaining in power for more than three years the PDP has not done anything to save Kashmir from floods. “Nearly Rs 400 crore have been spent on dredging and other activities during the past three years. If so much money has been spent then why couldn’t Kashmir withstand only one and a half day of rain?” the observer asked.
A Kashmir watcher said that Governor N N Vohra should take a serious note of the about the issue and order a probe to ascertain “where did the money go?”
He said that for time being the flood threat has subsided but there is prediction of rain again on July 2 and July 3. “If it rains heavily then nothing can be said and there is every possibility about 2014 being repeated. The dredging company which had been given the contract to increase the carrying capacity of the river Jehlum took the money from J&K government without completing the dredging work. The entire exercise carried out by the company just proved to be a cosmetic measure,” the Kashmir watcher added.
He alleged that Jhelum dredging turned into a “goldmine” for the politicians and the bureaucrats, who exploited this development for their “own gains.” “It’s unfortunate the breaches which led to the 2014 floods were not even repaired fully and people fear that these breaches can once again lead to another catastrophe,” the Kashmir watcher said.
An expert said that weatherman has predicted rains again from Monday onwards people have kept their fingers crossed and are hoping that situation doesn’t take an ugly turn.

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