Flood Fury In Jammu & Kashmir
By AMANA KHATHOON
Jammu and Kashmir state devastated by worst flood in 109 years
Kashmir floods may be an effect of climate change.
what are the reasons that caused the floods in jammu and kashmir.
Taking the factors that exacerbated the floods one by one, deforestation has long been a major problem in the northern half of the Kashmir valley, in adjacent parts of Pakistan-administered Kashmir and in Gilgit-Baltistan. Without the roots to hold the soil on the steep mountain slopes, it has all been washing down to the streams in the form of silt, and raising the riverbeds. The obvious consequence – the water carrying capacity of the streams and rivers is much reduced.
Coming to the second reason, for decades the elite in the Kashmir valley has been building fancy villas right on the floodplains of rivers and streams, sometimes even on tiny islands in the middle of the river. The process has been repeated and accelerated on the banks of famous lakes like dal and Nageen in Srinagar, with some hotels and restaurants even being built with their foundations in the lake – a result of the tourism boom .
Thirdly,for years, urban planners have bemoaned the lack of solid waste management in Kashmir, and have been consistently ignored. Hardly any tourist enjoying a stay in a Dal Lake houseboat is aware that all the garbage from the kitchen and the toilets goes straight into the lake. Much of the lake is choked with algae as a result.
Overuse of chemical fertilisers, especially in the fruit orchards throughout Kashmir, also exacerbates flooding. The excess fertiliser gets washed into streams and rivers, where it causes eutrophication, and again leads to algae blooms which choke waterways.
Observers are bemoaning that Srinagar is looking like a vast lake. Urban planners, environmentalists or anybody with common sense is not surprised. Without immediate corrective action, the calamity is likely to strike again.
With questions growing over governmental apathy, environmental negligence and flaws in reading the warning signs,officials say they are still clueless about the why and how of the worst floods in Kashmir valley’s recorded history.
one of the reason ,
Lack of coordination -
Lack of coordination and cooperation between the states and the centre is another
problem. Discussing the recent floods, the official said that since 2011 the Jammu
and Kashmir government had not responded to NDMA’s repeated requests for
space for a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team in Kashmir.
Kashmir floods could have been avoided if the respective officials had given
clear warnings based on the available data.
Many of the areas submerged are actually extensions of wetlands which had served as water sinks during the huge flooding of Srinagar city in 1902 which means there was no planning taken even after the huge disaster.
1)Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced relief package for those affected by the floods.
2) Rs.200 crore assistance for Jammu region and the valley.
3) Rs.3.5 lakh for the kin of those who lost their lives in the disaster which includes Rs.2 lakh announced by Prime Minister Narendra modi
4) Omar also announced financial assistance of Rs. 75,000 as initial installment for those who lost their homes.
5) Free food supply will be supplied to the affected for six months which includes 50 kg of rice
Indian Army rescuing flood victims in Jammu & Kashmir
Rescuing flood victims
Flood-affected people row boats past partially submerged buildings in floodwaters in Srinagar, India, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014
While looking at the challenges of relief and reconstruction that lie ahead, this is also the time to consider the lessons for the State from the extreme event. While there is agreement over the fact that the level of rainfall was unprecedented, intense and rather sudden, leaving little room for timely warnings, the environmental factors that underlie the tragedy need to be given a hard look. Ecological degradation caused by unplanned development and urbanisation, and failure to preserve wetlands, has played a role. Wetlands act as a sponge, and their loss is bound to have serious repercussions.This, then, has been a costly environmental wake-up call for Jammu and Kashmir — as it was for Uttarakhand a year ago.