Carrying Capacity of Water Bodies In Kashmir Drops Sharply:Report

Heavy siltation in Wular Lake, Anchar, Hokersar, Shalbugh posing an imminent danger

SRINAGAR — As Kashmir ob­serves fourth anniversary of devastating 2014 floods this year, there has been continuous reduc­tion in carrying capacity of water bodies over the years due to silt­ation and encroachments.

On September 7, 2014, the Kashmir was hit by the devastat­ing floods. Most parts of Kashmir remained under water for over a week. The devastating floods left around 300 people dead and ren­dered thousands of people homeless.

The Wular Lake which is the largest flood absorption basin has lost the water carrying ca­pacity due to host of factors. Several surveys have found that gross human interference, defor­estation, encroachments, chock­ing of waterways and reduction in capacity of wetlands due to heavy siltation poses an immi­nent threat of floods even by av­erage downpour.

“The capacity of retaining wa­ter in water bodies has reduced over the years. 20 percent area of the Wullar Lake has reduced due to the siltation. Other water bod­ies like Anchar, Hokersar, Shal­bugh have also witnessed silt­ation which leads reduction in retaining water capacity. Even the moderate rainfall poses a threat of flood in the Valley,” an official of I&FC department said.

He said state is not permitted to construct reservoirs on its riv­ers due to Indus Water Treaty that could have helped the Valley during floods.

The Indus Water Treaty be­tween India-Pakistan has placed curbs on the construction of stor­age reservoirs on rivers in J&K which could ensure the provi­sion of requisite water flow.

According to a disaster man­agement report, 13 districts in J&K have been identified as ‘Multi Hazard Districts’ and called for pro-active, holistic and comprehensive approach towards disaster risk reduction and management

“Majority areas of the Valley, especially Sonawari, Awantipora and Srinagar, along with parts of Jammu are prone to floods. Up­per catchments of all the tributar­ies of the Jhelum, Indus, Chenab and Tawi rivers are prone to flash floods,” the report says. (KNS)


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