Govt seeks help from foreign company to know how to prevent floods

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Ishtyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Mar 28: As government has failed to carry out the dredging process on river Jhelum, now help has been sought from a foreign company on river how to prevent floods in Kashmir.
The government has failed to carry out the dredging process even after over four years since the floods hit the state.
Following which, the JK government asked the Spanish company to immediately start the study to assess the causes behind the unprecedented deluge even by moderate rainfall, an official of the Jhelum and Tawi Recovery Project, said
“The expert team of the company has started morphology study on Jhelum. It will conduct the study for a year,” the officials said.
“Once the recommendations are submitted, it will then frame a detailed project report for flood project. After which the government may also approve the project,” the official said.
The study has been initiated under Jhelum and Tawi Recovery Project. The company has to complete the task in two years.
The official said that focus of the study is to look how to prevent floods in the future.
A study titled ‘A satellite-based rapid assessment on floods in Jammu & Kashmir–September, 2014’ conducted jointly by the Department of Environment & Remote Sensing (DERS) and ISRO has warned that intensity of rainfall and frequency of rainy days in the Himalayan region may increase in 2030s, leading to another flood in Kashmir if immediate steps are not taken to restore the drainage system of Jhelum.
It has become a common phenomenon in Kashmir in the aftermath of 2014 floods that water level rises in river Jhelum even by moderate rainfall.
At the same time, the government has not taken any preventive measures over the years to avoid such situations in the Valley.
In the backdrop of 2014 floods, the government announced that it would take several measures to prevent floods. “Nothing has been done in these years, except dredging at few spots and refilling of patches of Jhelum’s embankments, which were washed by 2014 floods,” an official of Irrigation and Flood Control Department said, wishing not to be quoted by name.
The drudging of Jhelum was to be carried in two phases to increase its carrying capacity. The Rs 280 crore project for phase I was subsequently awarded to Kolkata based company to clear the excessive siltation that had accumulated and drastically reduced the carrying-capacity of river Jhelum. (KNS)