‘90% areas free from flood waters’: Kotwal

Kotwal takes stock of de-watering, restoration works in Srinagar city

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SRINAGAR: Commissioner Secretary PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Dr. Pawan Kotwal today conducted an extensive tour of various flood affected parts of Srinagar city and took stock of the de-watering and restoration works.

          While expressing satisfaction on the pace of works, Dr. Kotwal issued necessary instructions to the engineers to further speed up the pace to restore normalcy in all the affected areas. He directed for pressing additional men and material for speedy de-watering the waterlogged areas. He called for a well-knit strategy and coordinated efforts for achieving the better results. He asked the engineers to keep strict vigil on the post-flood situation and plugging the breaches and cuts along the Jhelum River expeditously.

          The areas visited by the Commissioner/Secretary included, Rajbagh, Kursu Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Padshahi Bagh, Gogjibagh, Sonwar, Indira Nagar and Shivpora etc. He also interacted with the locals and appealed them to coordinate with the department for speedy restoration of works. He appealed to the people to adopt municipal norms while undertaking constructions, especially along the River Jhelum so that no similar catastrophic situation is faced. He also appealed to the people to voluntarily remove the encroachments from the irrigation land so that the sanctity of the river banks was maintained.

          On the point of meeting such challenges in future, Dr. Kotwal said that the Government will frame a long term strategy. He said the department will work on the new technologies to tackle the flood situations in the State. He clarified that the department took necessary and timely measures to prevent the flood, but the magnitude of water was so high and it was uncontrollable under the circumstances. He said the department issued timely warnings to the people staying along the river to shift to the safer areas, but that did not work and ultimately the city faced the fury. He admitted that this was unprecedented situation and State never witnessed such a tragedy. He maintained that the administration will have to work on new lines to prevent such devastation in future.

          On the drinking water scenario aftermath the floods, the Commissioner Secretary said that most parts of the Srinagar city have been restored with regular water supply. Some parts are still affected, but the repair of pipes and other infrastructure is going on in full swing. He claimed that there is no serious crisis of water supply in the affected areas. The Government has made alternate arrangements of supply where the tap supply has not been maintained, he added.

          Regarding the quantum of damages and losses to the infrastructure and assets, Dr. Kotwal maintained that as per preliminary assessment the loss has been worked out to the tune of Rs. 2614 crore to both the sectors viz; PHE & Irrigation & Flood Control. The total loss will be worked out after a rigorous survey for which the department is already on the job, he maintained.

          The engineers accompanying the Commissioner told that almost 90 percent waterlogged areas have been cleared from water and dewatering process is in full swing in rest of the areas. They assured that the entire affected localities will be free from the water within next couple of days. They further maintained that restoration works on the breaches and cuts along the Jhelum has also simultaneously started and most of the areas have been plugged.

          Meanwhile, Chief Engineer I&FC has said that the department is in the process of plugging cuts/breaches and many of the cuts have been completely restored. He said cuts/breaches are being plugged/restored to avoid any back water entry from river Jhelum.

          He said after draining out water from various inundated areas the department has either fully plugged the cut or the process is underway. He said the cut made at convent school is still draining out water from Rajbagh and is active.

He said the process of plugging cuts at Kursu, Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, LD hospital, Gowkadal, Shivpora, Athwajan, Batmaloo etc is underway. He said cuts/breaches at Peerzoo, Alochibagh, Bashikol, Gangbug, B&J, old Barzulla, Hajibagh, Batpora, etc have been completely plugged after draining out flood waters from these areas.

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