Bidding process on, will complete dredging work soon: CE I&FC Kashmir
Despite persistent flood threats prevailing in summer capital from last four years, Srinagar district administration has failed to clear the weeds and grass from Narkor-Peerbagh flood channel.
Residents of Peerbagh, Banbagander, Nadigund and Bemina areas have expressed resentment over the government’s failure to clean the flood channel which has been risking their lives especially during the rains.
Farooq Ahmad, a local resident at Airport road said more than nine years have been passed but nothing has been changed on the ground.
“Government is yet to start dredging on the flood channel and during rains, water enters residential areas and damages our property,” Ahmad said.
Huge quantity of wild grass has accumulated over the flood channel, while solid waste is also seen dumped at several places due to which it has been blocked at many places, while locals fear flood threat during rains.
Abdul Hamid, a local from Nadigund said during this year July rainfall, we shifted to our relative’s place as flood channel was flowing above danger mark.
“We apprised the concerned officials about the matter and also visited local MLA’s home but they turned deaf ears to our demands,” Hamid said.
“In July this year, two days of rainfall brought Kashmir to the brink of floods exposing the hollow claims of flood preparedness, especially that of the projects,” he said.
Residents said, from past two years, most of the population living around the flood channel relived the horror scenes of 2014 floods as the government declared flood threat and many of them shifted the household essentials.
"Allah intervened and stopped the rainfall, otherwise if left to the government’s tall claims, all of us would have been living a dangerous sequel of 2014 floods," said Subhan Sofi, a local at Peerbagh.
He complained that authorities have failed to learn the lessons from September 2014 floods.
The depth of the flood channel is 2-3 meters and dredging will increase the depth and also the capacity to carry water during rains.
The floodwater in 2014 submerged over 600 square km of land, rising up to 25 feet at some places. In summer capital, vast areas remained, on an average, under eight feet of water for over a week.
Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC), Kashmir, Mir Mohammad Shahnawaz said the department will look into the issue.
“We have already issued a contract for dredging and bidding is under process. The work will be completed soon,” Shahnawaz said.