HC Asks For Action Plan To Prevent Re-Occurrence Of 2014-Like Floods

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SRINAGAR — The J&K High Court on Monday sought urgent attention of Chief Secretary of the State regarding Action Plan for preventing re-occurrence of flood in the state.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of the court said also sought the status report about removal of all encroachments from the water bodies as also the status of drudging in the Jehlum.

The court observed that matter was of great concern as from last floods in 2014 till date, no action plan is in place. The court observed government is unable to form action plan in order to save the lives and properties of the people for reoccurrence of floods.

The petitioners submitted before the court that in terms of directions passed on 28 December 2018 appointment of nodal officers (Principal Secretary I&FC) has taken place for the job but unfortunately there is no action plan submitted till date before the court. The Petitioners also informed the court that the drudging process in river Jehlum is not being done on scientific manner and they approached the Governor in this regard.

The governor has ordered inquiry into the irregularities taken place in drudging process.  

In his report, Chief Engineer I&FC department had submitted that the government had been working on the recommendations of the committee constituted post 2014-floods by Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR), River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The committee had recommended measures in three categories: immediate measures, short-term measures, and long-term measures.

The three-member committee comprised the Chairman Central Water Commission (CWC), the Commissioner (Indus), and the Director National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee. They had conducted a study of the 2014 floods so as to make suitable recommendations along with a detailed plan to deal with flood threats in future.

Under the immediate measures, the committee recommended the closing of breaches along the course of river Jhelum and the development of flood forecasting and warning networks.

Under short-terms measures, the committee recommended raising and strengthening of existing river embankments, enhancement of carrying capacity of existing flood spill channel, dredging of the spill channel to increase its carrying capacity, setting up of rapid action dewatering facilities in urban areas, and establishment of adequate emergency response measures.

Under long-term measures, the committee recommended a supplementary flood spill channel, enhancement of capacity of Wullar Lake, flood plain zoning, measures with regard to sewage and solid waste, a-forestation and catchment area treatment along hill slopes.

The Chief Engineer submitted before the court that the recommendations had been accepted and short-term measures were divided into phase-I and II to be acted upon. 


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