It is just six months after the >devastating floods of >September 2014, but the residents of the Kashmir Valley have >again been spending sleepless nights, scared that water would overwhelm their homes and lives. Though the levels in the Jhelum have fallen from the recent high, the clear and present danger that the river poses to the Valley’s residents has not abated. The unseasonal rain has once again put people at risk, even as agriculture and tourism face nature’s onslaught. And it is not as if the problem is restricted to the Valley — the Jammu-Srinagar highway remains shut following landslips and the Army averted a major disaster in Zanskar following one. All this points to a single conclusion: that this strategic region is hugely vulnerable, something that bears little repetition given what happened in September 2014. It is ironic that the State government had just >submitted a Rs.44,000-crore rehabilitation package for the deluge of 2014, in which nearly 300 people died. The State’s summer capital had turned into a large lake in 2014, leaving the government and the administration as helpless spectators. Much has been written about how with unplanned urbanisation drainage channels have been choked in the Valley, creating the potential for large-scale flooding following prolonged spells of rain. In the absence of proper drainage systems, it is more than likely that the flood threat will remain. There has also been massive siltation of lakes, with many wetlands lost forever. All this information and more was hammered home in the wake of last year’s catastrophe, but the real question is: have the lessons been learnt? Are the State and Central governments better prepared today than they were last time? Will they be able to tackle the varied natural-humanitarian disasters that may lie ahead?
A Central Minister was sent from Delhi to study the situation, and one can only hope there is better preparation all round. It is fortuitous that the Centre and the State are on the same page with a BJP-PDP coalition government in power. According to Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh, the Indian Space Research Organisation was collecting detailed data on the prevailing situation, which were being shared with other agencies. The Army, the National Disaster Response Force, the police and the civil administration all need to work in tandem. At the same time, unplanned and unchecked urbanisation needs to be curbed firmly if the region and its people are to be sheltered from the threat of repeated floods. Our urban development strategies need to take a different, sustainable course.
Torrential rains have caused massive destruction and severe distress in the state of Jammu and Kashmir with several fatalities and large numbers displaced. Several houses,especially in low lying areas, have been washed away or entirely damaged. More than 2500 major and minor roads have been damaged, numerous footbridges washed away and more than 100 motorable bridges damaged. There has been a major communication and power breakdown due to transformers and towers being damaged. An estimated 19,00,000 people in 2600 villages and towns, have been affected in the floods, and an estimated 543,000 displaced people, many of whom have returned to their homes, are still in extreme distress, particularly the children, women and aged
Access routes are gradually being restored and the rescue operations need to be followed up with immediate relief measures to prevent any further anguish for the victims.
For information on our efforts so far, please refer to: Outreach - Summary Report
For additional information, please refer to: Assessment Report
How you can help?
Pragya is currently working to respond to the needs of the affected people in Jammu, Srinagar, Pulwama, Bandipore, Budgam, Kulgam, Anantnag and Baramulla districts. We aim to spread our efforts to Reasi district as well.
If you would like to help us in addressing immediate relief needs of the flashflood victims, please contact:
All donations would be exempt under section 80-G of Income Tax Act of 1961. Pragya is a registered charity with FCRA clearance
Preliminary assessment reveals need for:
- Medicines View list
- Warm blankets and woolens
- Food grains
- Household Utensils
- Baby food
- Warm bedding materials and mattress
- Solar lanterns/Torch/batteries
Mr. Vikas Mark
Contact No. : +91 9810114548
Pragya has been working in the Himalayan region including state of Jammu & Kashmir for the last 2 decades and has carried out intensive relief and rehabilitation work during the flashfloods in Leh in 2010 and then again during the Uttarakhand disaster in 2013.