Kandzal breach would not have saved City: Sham

PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control minister while recollecting the measures taken by the state establishment during September’s catastrophic floods nullified the reports that breach of traditional Kandzal embankment would have saved the summer capital during the catastrophic floods Sham Lal Sharma while talking to KNS took strong exception to the re- ports that inordinate delay by the state government to breach traditional Kan- dzal embankment of river Jhelum led to submergence of the Srinagar city during recent floods. He remarked that gauge at Sangam was already un- der the flood waters and that it was for the first time witnessed in the history of the region that Jehlum breached through both the sides “Kandizal would not have helped at that time as the water was flowing in most un- expected quantity and the place itself was under the 25ft of flood waters.

We have the capacity of 40 thousand cusecs and we got around three lakh and twenty thousand cusecs of water. How Kandizal could had helped us, it wasn’t a mere flood it was a disaster” In a brief chat with Kashmir News Service (KNS), Sham Lal Sharma stated that water on September 3 had crossed the danger level in Jehlum at three different places and that at zero Bridge of the summer capital- the situ- ation was already alarming. “Between the night of 3-4 September at 11.30, I received a call from Chief Engineer Irrigation- informing me that the situ- ation is turning turbulent near Zero Bridge. I asked him to inform DC, SSP and Div Com so that alert to the peo- ple living in adjoining areas could be sounded. I reached the spot at 12 in the night. The waters were flowing with a dreadful speed.” Sharma recalled. He added that the low lying areas of Sri nagar city including Jawaharnagar, Raj Bagh, Lasjan and other areas were warned to move out of their houses.

Sharma said that he was personally telephoned by some bureaucrats of the state establishment  urging him not to panic the locals as floods would never occur in the city. “I told them that the situation is indeed alarming as the waters have crossed the danger mark in the river.” The minister added that CM arrived near zero bridge at 7.30 in the morn- ing and along with the senior officers of the state administration, a meeting at Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar was convened at 9 in the morn- ing. “After the meeting, myself and the chief minister went to take the outer view of the city.

There are already water of 3ft present in Barzulla area and Panthachowk was turning inundated as the rains didn’t stop. I told the chief minister that it seems that the rains would not stop and speedy measures need to be taken on priority.” Sharma maintained further that on September 5, the situation turned alarming in the Jammu region of the state as the flash floods created hav- oc in various areas “ We travelled to Jammu and took stock of the situation there.”

However, the minister remarked that Wullar saved north Kashmir and the intake capacity of the lake increased due to the recent dredging. He added that the area of the lake is 190 sq Kms and high quantity of wa- ter was drifted towards the lake which saved the north Kashmir region of the state. “Had it not been wullar, north Kashmir would have been drowned.”