Calls for relook at district-level flood mitigation plans
Srinagar, Aug 30: Governor Satya Pal Malik has called for a comprehensive strategy and tangible measures to deal with flood-like situations in the State with specific reference to Kashmir Valley. He directed the Department of Irrigation & Flood Control to put in place all the necessary arrangements effectively deal with any flood-like situations to prevent recurrence of the September-2014 situation.
While chairing a maiden review meeting on flood management at the Civil Secretariat here today, the Governor emphasized the need for a fresh review of flood mitigation plans by all the Deputy Commissioners and speeding up the process of clearing the drainages; strengthening the river banks with special focus on vulnerable spots.
The Governor complimented the administration over the preparatory work done and directed the concerned to take immediate action to fill up any identified additional gaps to thwart any challenge due to flood like situation in future. He called for maintaining a close synergy by various agencies for ensuring tangible results on ground.
The Governor also obtained detailed feedback on the progress of PMDP and directed for speeding up the process to achieve the targets in a time bound manner.
Advisors to Governor, BB Vyas, K Vijay Kumar & Khurshid Ahmad Ganai; Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, Financial Commissioner, Housing, KB Aggarwal; Principal Secretary to Governor, Umang Narula;Commissioner Secretary PWD (R&B), Khurshid Ahmed Shah; Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan; Secretary Irrigation & Flood Control, Farooq Ahmad Shah, Vice Chairman, LAWDA, Chief Engineer, Irrigation & Flood Control, Commissioner SMC, Director Disaster Management and other officers were present in the meeting.
In a power point presentation, the Secretary Irrigation & Flood Control informed the Governor that during the recent flood like situation from the last week of June and first week of July, 2018, the Central Flood Control Room was set up at Ram Munshibagh; Automatic Water Level Recorders and Automatic Rain Gauges were installed at essential sites viz. Sangam, Ram Munshibagh, Khudwani, Batkoot and Wachi; Global Navigation Satellite System is being used for correlating the manual and automatic Gauge sites with each other; Doppler Radar and Automatic Weather/Rain Gauge stations have been put in place to gain real time data in advance, during any adverse situation; adequate quantity of empty cement bags kept available to deal with the situation. Encroachments were removed from the Jhelum Spill Channel and tributaries; dredging of river Jhelum and flood spill channel has been initiated; with World Bank support, River Morphology Study of Jhelum has been initiated for better flood forecasting.
It was further informed that the Department had established 260 tents along with other facilities; 40 Relief Camps in district Srinagar and 7 Nodal Officers appointed; 7 teams of SDRF and two teams of NDRF, along with motorized boats were positioned; 100 personnel of Home Guards and Civil Defence, besides 2,500 Police personnel and 3,000 CRPF, kept ready for assisting evacuation operations; 260 family tents pitched; 30 toilets (male and female) erected; medical teams deployed, along with medicines and chlorine tablets.
One Central Flood Committee consisting of 22 members; 11 District Coordination Committees consisting of 20 members each headed by the Deputy Commissioners and 14 District Flood Zonal Committees headed by the Executive Engineers have been constituted to deal with any flood eventuality.
Regarding strengthening and raising the embankments of the river, Governor was informed that 113 spots on river Jhelum have been identified and strengthened during monitoring by Beat and Sectoral Officers; 140 spots on tributaries have been temporarily restored and strengthened; strengthening of 25 spots on river Jhelum and 68 spots on tributaries are under progress.
Under the long-term measures, the action has already been taken by the state Government under Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project in consultation I & FC Department Kashmir. Under these measures, the PM’s Core Group & the team of directors of CWC visited the valley in 2015 and recommended some vital steps to be taken under long term strategy as well to mitigate a flood threat of 1,15000 cusecs at Sangam.
The State Government has already initiated steps viz engaging the consultancy for “conduct of Surveys, feasibility studies, EIA/EMP for integrated Comprehensive Flood management of River Jhelum & its tributaries including preparation of Detailed Project Report.”, under world bank funding through its state PMU (Project monitoring Unit) under JTFRP.
The Consultancy has been recently awarded to M/S EPTISA of Spain by the State PMU of JTFRP after approval from World Bank. The consultancy will act as complete road map for mitigation of Floods in Kashmir. The M/S EPTISA Ltd has started their preliminary field visits on 23-7-2018 from south Kashmir.
It was also informed that sufficient funds have been kept at the disposal of Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners for the procurement of emergency material according to the situation.