WOULD KASHMIR VALLEY DROWN AGAIN? ZIRAAT TIMES ANALYSES
JUNE 29, 2018
Ziraat Times News
Srinagar, June 29: With the water level in the River Jhelum constantly rising, people in the valley are nursing apprehensions about yet another flood drowning Kashmir valley.
According to the latest reports from the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, the gauge reading of the river Jehlum at Sangam in South Kashmir at 6 pm was 21.33 feet, which means it is already flowing above the flood declaration level.
Pertinently, at Sangam, flood alert is made at 18 feet while as flood declaration is made at 21 feet.
The Jhelum river as seen on June 29, Friday, 7:30 PM at Rajbagh, Srinagar. (Ziraat Times photo)
With this emerging situation, Irrigation and Flood Control Department has just declared “floods” in South Kashmir and has asked the habitations residing along the embankments of the River Jhelum, nallahs and in low lying areas of South Kashmir to “remain vigilant.” All government officials deputed on “flood duty” have been asked to report to their respective sectors/beats.
Meanwhile, the gauge reading at Ram Munshi Bagh in Srinagar was recorded as 13.34 feet at 6 PM.
Pertinently, at Ram Munshi Bagh, flood alert is declared at 16 feet, while as formal flood declaration is done at 18 feet.
So what is the outlook?
Ziraat Times’ weather monitoring indicates that rainfall would continue at most places in the catchment areas of the Jhelum in the Kashmir valley in the next 24 hours.
The problem is that even as rainfall activity would stop in north and central Kashmir plains, some of the catchment plains and mountains of the Jhelum in north and central Kashmir would continue to receive rainfall until Saturday morning, making it a somewhat tricky situation.
If the rate of one foot water level increase per hour continues at Ram Munshi Bagh, a flood situation could emerge within the next 6 hours on Friday.
It may be recalled that Ziraat Times, based on its own system of weather monitoring and forecast, on June 27 had produced a report predicting that “heavy to moderate rainfall is likely to occur across Kashmir and Jammu regions starting Thursday, June 28. Rains are likely to continue with breaks until July 4.”
The report has further said that “Analysis of various weather parameters by Ziraat Times indicates that during this period moderate snowfall is also expected across the Upper Himalayas east of Kashmir valley and Chenab region. The snowfall in upper reaches, coupled by widespread rainfall across north India and Pakistani Punjab would result in a major dip in temperature, mainly across the Kashmir region, during this time.”
Full report could be read here: http://www.ziraattimes.com/heavy-to-moderate-rains-likely-across-jk-from-june-28-july-4/
The Meteorological Department on Friday said that “there will be a decrease in rainfall activity”. It also says that “light to moderate rainfall would occur at most places of the state” during the next 24 hours.
Director Disaster Management Department, Aamir Ali, while sounding optimistic that rainfall activity would decrease, told Ziraat Times that it is the weather that is being merciful and that the threat of a flood was receding.
“It could have been very close in case heavy rainfall activity would continue for another day or two”, Mr Aamir said.
Hydrological experts believe that at the end of the day whether Srinagar and other parts of the valley would drown again would not be decided by the extent of rains that would fall on 29 and 30 June as much as by the current carrying capacity of the Jhelum and other main tributaries.
Interestingly, the dredging plan of the Jhelum has made little or no progress in execution since 2014.That could be a decisive factor
“It seems that there has been little progress in enhancing the carrying capacity of the Jhelum by dredging after 2014 floods”, Iqbal Shahmiri, former chief engineer, PHE Department told Ziraat Times.
Updated at 2000 hours, June 29, 2018