UNPRECEDENTED FLOODS IN JAMMU & KASHMIR – A NATIONAL TRAGEDY
It has been experienced, whereinsoever and whensoever man has disturbed the natural balance there is a natural calamity. We ourselves are responsible for natural imbalance and we have to suffer the pangs of its consequences. In any part of the world, whenever there is a natural disaster in the form of earth quake, tsunami, or floods; these ought to be taken as a problem requiring humane consideration because there is huge loss of men and materials. It goes to show that Mother Nature is very kind to those who respect It but very retributive who disturb its balance. Nobody is big or small for the Mother Nature.
In June 2013, a severe cloudburst in the northern part of Uttarkhand caused devastating floods and landslides. Then who can forget the Tsumani of 2004 and devastating earthquake that shook Latur and also of Bhuj. All these natural calamities were faced by Indians unitedly.
Now five days of incessant rains lashed the state of J&K due to which life in the state of J&K came to standstill. Due to this unprecedented rains, all road communication to the valley from Jammu, Rajouri and its adjoining areas got disrupted. Not only this, the tele-communication too got disturbed besides washing off many bridges due to which transportation of goods and services were sevrely hit. The road from Srinagar to Leh and Ladakh was also damaged. This made it difficult for the people to stock the supplies for the coming winter, as is the usual practice.
First the Home Minister and subsequently the PM Shri Narinder Modi paid a visit to J&K. The PM announced a grant of 1000 Crores as a first installment for relief and rehabilitation. He also promised continued support for the flood relief of the state and declared that it ought to be construed as a National Disaster for which all people of the country should chip in for assistance.
The gigantic task of opening roads closed due to land slides and disruption of tele-communication have been going on a war footing. The Army and the Indian Air Force have been busy providing succour to the affected people round the clock without even caring for their own families. Beasides, the power and water supplies have too been disrupted at Srinagar. Flooding of Chenab and and Tawi rivers have damaged / washed away the roads leading to washing away of houses and live stocks. There were also land slides adversely affecting the villages around. There are the cases of a few villages being totally destroyed due to heavy land slides.
Indian Air Force is carrying out their task of ferrying the people from Srinagar just round the clock, to their destinations besides distributing the food items to the affected people. NDRF and Army teams, in their boats, are helping the marooned people to the best of their capability.
The houses are still in water till first storey. Some people are still in their houses for fear of their household goods being stolen by unscruplous elements. Only lurking fear now is a fear of the foundation of their house giving way. The administration should keep their fingers crossed for meeting any contingency due to this factor.
The teams of NDRF and Army are going to different houses for rendering a helping hand in whichsoever way they can. Tell-communication is still a problem by which people could tell their problems and convey about their requirements. There is no electricity supply because of water logging in all the areas. Water and eatables are being distributed to the people. Rescue and relief workers in Jawahar Colony, a posh colony of Kashmir, is still going on besides other colonies. There is muddy water all around.
5th Sept onwards, the rescue teams are working round the clock. The armed forces personnel are working without caring about their own relatives whereabouts and safety. The situation at Raj Bagh, where people used to come for meeting their different requirements, is still submerged in water.
Water from houses situated at elevation has reduced but there is mud and slush all around. The destruction caused due to the deluge is unprecedented.
Indian Air Force has been pursuing the task of airlifting relief supplies to the affected places keeping in mind aircraft safety in mind. This commendable efforts are being lauded by all. This relief material is being brought from different parts of the country. Flood relief work is being done by IAF for this whole of the transport fleet is busy – day and night too.
Be that as it may, it should never be forgotten that in the past, National calamities of this degree, Indians have come to the forefront and provided every succour to the needy brethren. This time too this is our e fervent appeal that our countrymen will come to the rescue of the people.
The reasons for this deluge is not far to seek.
• The wetlands which used to absorb extra water of flood etc are now being used for construction of colonies.
• The area of Dal lake has reduced due to one reason of the antoher.
• Functional sewerage system is not there which could take extra water emission due to floods etc.
• The State Government should devise a meaningful force for meeting contingency of this nature.
Future remedial measures
• The role which the Army and the NDRF has performed should also have been done by the Police Force of J&K – who are much aware of the topography of the area.
• Contingency Plan by the State administration should be made based on the lessons learnt from the present unprecedented floods.
• There is a requirement of building strong bunds and sand bags kept ready in adequate numbers made ready to plug the breaches.
• The wetlands which used to absorb flood water are being used for construction. It should be stopped forthwith.
• The relief and rehabilitation after water level recedes should be looked after on a war footing.
• Contingency Plan should be made to fight the outbreak of any epidemic. Hospitals in the valley should be better equipped to deal with any eventualities.
• Construction of houses which would be damaged due to adverse affects of water logging due to unprecedented flood water. For this planned effort is the need of the hour. Or the houses which have already been destroyed or partially damaged need to be taken care of.
This gigantic National Tragedy requires a gigantic National Effort which, I am sure, will fructify if all the people forge together and come forward in this hour of need; in whatever manner they can. We fervently appeal to our countrymen to come forward and make their contribution to the PM’s Relief Fund or any other legitimate agency for this effort. God will certainly help those who show compassion for their brethren in need. Let it be known that tragedy in any part of India should be taken as a NATIONAL TRAGEDY. this score.