Horrors of September-2014 floods relived at KU film premiere

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VC Andrabi calls for efficient disaster management preparedness

Srinagar: Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kashmir, Prof Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi, Thursday called for efficient disaster management preparedness to effectively deal with natural disasters.

Chairing a panel discussion after screening of a film on 2014-floods in Kashmir, Prof Andrabi said it is “is important for all of us, collectively, to ponder over what needs to be done to avert natural disasters and how best to deal with them.”

He said the focus of “our discussion shouldn’t be limited to floods only but other natural disasters like earthquakes in view of the fact that Kashmir falls in a seismic zone.”

The film “September Himalayan Floods: Un(Avoidable) Deluge” has been produced by Director Educational Multimedia Research Centre, Dr Shahid Rasool, and his team including  Inam-ul-Rehman, the co-director.

Chief Town Planner, Iftikhar Hakeem, said it was important to “take a holistic view of the whole issue rather than see it from the prism of Srinagar floods alone.”

“We need to see what has happened to entire Kashmir vis-à-vis climate change and deforestation. Our focus should also be on watersheds which have been a huge contributing factor to floods,” he said.

He also called for “close synergy” between academia and professionals in the field for efficient flood management.

Prof Shakeel A Romshoo, Head of KU’s Earth Sciences Department, called for scientific approach to flood management. “It’s not that the government didn’t take any steps after the 2014 floods. It went for dredging of river Jhelum and other water bodies, but all this unfortunately isn’t being done in a scientific manner,” he said. “There has to be a scientifically-approved robust flood management action plan with us.”

Er Lateef Ahmad Malik, Superintending Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control Department, shared his experiences in the field during the 2014 floods.

Earlier, the 30-minute film was screened in the jam-packed Media House Auditorium of the University.

Dr Shahid Rasool, Director EMC, shared his experiences while directing the documentary. The film, he said, raises some important questions including whether the devastating deluge could have been avoided somehow and the damage caused by it minimized.

The visuals in the film take viewers back to the devastating floods of September 2014 while incorporating expert opinions on flood control.

The film screening was attended by senior KU academics and officers, including Dean Academic Affairs Prof M A Wani, SS to VC, Dr M S Sumbli, apart from scores of media students and civil society members.

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