The admission by Chief Minster Omar Abdullah , in an interview published in  Khaleej Times of 19th October 2014,  about the brazen role of MLA Chadoora, Javaid Mustafa Mir in obstructing the breach of Kandizal area as per the standard operating procedure ,raises some  pertinent questions. The failure at political & administrative level  to take necessary steps to save Srinagar city from ravaging floods and putting the State economy to  a loss of Rs. One Trillion plus a cascading effect  of  nearly thrice as much is an unpardonable crime  for which    heads should have rolled & guilty behind the bars by now. But the local leadership which acts as managers of colonial property handed over to them by New-Delhi gets as much  political immunity from New-Delhi as security forces get under AFSPA. Here in this state, unaccountability is the rule rather than exception.  

To guage  the inertia at the politico-administrative level preceding the floods,  it is worthwhile to  have a look at CM’s answer to a question posed by the paper:

KT: There is an apprehension that the government dithered on a key decision to breach Kandizal, an important embankment in river Jhelum. Is that true?

 CM: The Kandizal breach took place itself. It is a fact that Javed Mustafa Mir, the local MLA of Kandizal (of the PDP) positioned himself on the bund and didn’t allow us to breach it. However nature took its own course and Kandizal breached itself. When people talk of Kandizal as a flood basin, that’s a 25-year old perspective. That was when there was no population in Kandizal. Today more than 200,000 people reside in that area.”

CM’s above  answer  raises following vital issues of grave public importance.

a)     That PDP MLA Javaid Mustafa Mir  did’nt allow the administration to breach the Kandizal area

b)     The Kandizal breach took place itself

c)      That Kandizal area is inhabited by two lac people today compared to 25 years ago.

A detailed analysis of his statement:

 The chief Minster wants us to believe that mischief was played only by Javeed Mustafa Mir who belongs to PDP. He conveniently omits to mention the resistance offered by  his own friend & MLA   Anmira Kadal in respect of opening of flood gates at Padshai bagh & Mohd. Akbar Lone, the higher education Minster, in refusing to allow diversion of water to Wullar lake. The later infamous for using unparliamentary language even inside the legislature, is reported to have used choicest abuses and invectives for officials pleading for  prompt diversion as per the standard operating procedure. Not left behind is one Imtiyaz Parray, the son of that  infamous renegade, who used unabated violence & muscle-power  to facilitate election 1996 to put Farooq Abdullah in chair. The whole administration buckled under the pressure of  these so-called  state & non-state actors   to prevent adherence to SOP.

The next  point  in CM’s answer  is “  Mir did’nt allow us to breach it”. Mr. Chief Minster,  should feel shame in saying that an  MLA did  not allow the whole administration to do  a particular act and  having accepted that fact  he is  not worthy of occupying a chair meant to safeguard the state & its people.

Another point in CM’s statement is  that  Kandizal breach took place itself. By this statement he wants us to believe that undue intervention of MLAs did not make much a difference. Yes it is true that Kandizal breach took place itself  but the crucial question is when. It was on 4th of September that Mr. Mustafa Mir along with his few goons brandished a gun at Kandizal site & threatened to kill any body & everybody who dares to breach it. It was on 6th September that water finally overflew Kandizal. The  excess water  in Jehlum, because of non-breaching, created undue pressure on bunds surrounding city for at-least 37 hours. Now anybody conversant with elementary engineering mathematics would tell CM that had Kandizal been breached in  time as per the SOP, excess water of around 50,000 cusecs flowing  at an average  speed  would have crossed even  our borders in two days, providing much needed relief  to Srinagar City. Even if the left-over excess water  would have   inundated the city, the flood level  would not have exceeded 2 to 3ft which means  a great relief as compared to average 15 ft level.

The final question arising from CM’s answer is that Kandizal was a flood basin 25 years ago & now around two lac people live in that  basin. Here again the question is who allowed the people to settle in the said flood basin? While there is no denying the fact that every Govt.  facilitated illegal occupation of Kashmir’s water bodies & basins, National Conference has to share a major part of the blame as it was in power for half of those twenty five years, the remaining  half being accounted for by other parties & governor’s rule.

Kashmir  is a graveyard of many reputations. It has demolished many a kings, rulers & dynasties. Those who have fiddled with its sanctity & identity have found themselves razed to ground leaving no trace of  even their small particles. Mr. CM it is definitely going to come true in your case also.

(The author is a practicing Chartered Accountant. E Mail: abdulmajidzargar@gmail.com)