With continuous rain lashing the Valley for the past few days, the water level in the river Jhelum and other rivulets has considerably increased even as the Flood Control and Irrigation department has sounded a flood alert. The Meteorological department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in next 36 hours.
Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control, Mir Javid Jaffer said that the gauges of river Jhelum touched 22 feet when recorded at 5pm, one foot below the danger mark while at Ram Munshi Bagh the gauges touched 10 feet.
“We have sounded flood alert and directed all zonal flood committees to be present in their respective control rooms. Flood threat is certain. There will be improvement in the situation in case the rain stop.” he said.
The Chief Engineer further said that till now no diversion of water has been made anywhere in the Valley. “But given the situation we have sounded an alert. We are not going to wait for flood to be declared, and we have activated the flood committees in all districts who are coordinating with their respective Deputy Commissioner’s office.” he informed.
“We are ready to deal with any contingency and we have kept our men and machinery ready,” he said, adding that 11 lakh sand bags have been kept ready to deal with any contingency.
“People living in temporary sheds along the banks of Jhelum have been asked to shift to safer places,” the officials said. Incessant rains have been lashing Kashmir since Tuesday morning, which has led to sharp rise in water level in streams and rivulets across the valley.
According to the Met office, the summer capital received 32.8 mm of rainfall during the day while Qazigund received the maximum rainfall of 79.8 mm followed by Kokarnag (55.8), Pahalgam (30.2) and Kupwara (20.8).
Kashmir Valley especially South Kashmir witnesses a flood like situation on Wednesday as number of wooden and steel bridges got washed away at different places while many areas submerged in water due to steep rise in the level of the water.
Eyewitnesses said that army personnel form 9 RR rescued 6 nomad families and evacuated them to safer places after the waters from Vaishav basin entered Akhran village of Kulgam. The whole village according to eyewitnesses submerged due to high water level. Families residing in Sarvan Napur village in Kahlan area of Kulgam were also evacuated to safer places due to steep rise in water level.
In Noorabad Kulgam, Sports Stadium got completely submerged in water while a wooden bridge connecting Kunghatan with Sangam in Anantnag district was washed away by flash flood. Reports said that the carcass of animals, trees, and other building materials were seen floating in River Jehlum whole day.
Traffic on Bijbehara-Sirhama road got blocked after a wooden bridge submerged in water. Reports said that scores of villages in South Kashmir’s Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian submerged in water due to steep rise in water level. Executive Engineer Flood Control Division Anantnag, Muhammad Afzal said that they are ready to meet any challenge while the men from all the related departments including PHE, R&D and Irrigation are in touch to meet any exigency.
In Sangarwani Keller in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district various villages were inundated due to incessant rains. Reports said that in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district Nallah Shali-Ganga and Nallah Sukhnag were overflowing while the authorities have directed the local population to shift to safer places. At Karhama in District Baramull, a power receiving station was damaged due to continuous rainfall.
Locals in Hanjivera Pattan in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district alleged that no official from the administration visited the area as it has submerged completely due to incessant rains. “The water canal developed cracks and damages due to incessant rains resulting in the submerging of houses in at least 10 villages including Hanji Veera, Trikolbal, Hadipora and Pathan Mohallah in Pattan area,” the locals said.
Meanwhile, the traffic on the 434-km Srinagar-Leh highway has been suspended after incessant rains led to landslides. Traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway has also been suspended. Officials said that traffic movement will resume only after the improvement in weather conditions.