Kashmir Indepth

JK has highest chances of climate vulnerability, Floods declared nine times since 2014

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Aug 26 (KINS): Indicating how Jammu and Kashmir is vulnerable to floods, at least floods were declared or water level rose above danger mark nine times for the last five years in the state.

It has been seen over the years that a few hours of rain are enough to create a flood scare in the state.

As per official figures, the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, the authorities have declared floods at least nine times since 2014.

As per the figures, the floods hit the state in September 2014. The water level also increased above the danger mark or created flood like situation in March 2015, April 2015, June 2015, July 2015, September 2015, April 2017, June 2018, and June 2019.

The Union Ministry of Water Resources in December 2014 asked the state government for framing of the detailed project report for the 80-km Dogripora flood channel to be constructed from Awantipora in south Kashmir to Wular Lake in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

As per news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS), under this mega project, a Rs 18,000 crore flood channel was to be created to carry the surplus flood discharge of Jhelum.

According to a disaster management report, 13 districts in J&K, out of 100 districts in India, have been identified as ‘multi-hazard districts’.
“Majority areas of the valley, especially Sonawari, Awantipora and Srinagar, along with parts of Jammu are prone to floods. Upper catchments of all the tributaries of the Jhelum, Indus, Chenab and Tawi rivers are prone to flash floods,” the report said. All these areas were worst hit by September-2014 floods and are prone to floods.

While the recent study says that out of the 12 states, Assam, Mizoram and Jammu & Kashmir are extremely vulnerable to global warming.
“Based on this assessment, the vulnerability index is found to be the highest for Assam (0.72) and Mizoram (0.71), followed by Jammu and Kashmir (0.62), Manipur (0.59), Meghalaya and West Bengal (both 0.58), Nagaland (0.57), Himachal Pradesh and Tripura (0.51 both), Arunachal Pradesh (0.47) and Uttarakhand (0.45). Sikkim is the least vulnerable state with the index being 0.42,” the study says.

It says that, “Several drivers of vulnerability are evident for the state of J&K. These include, in the order of significance, least road density, no area under crop insurance, low area under forests per 1,000 rural households, high percentage of marginal farmers, low percentage area under horticulture crops, low livestock to human ratio and low percentage of women in the overall workforce.”

The study says that climate change is already occurring and impacting natural ecosystems and human societies.

It says, “To reduce these uncertainties and plan towards sustainable development it is essential to adopt evidence based adaptation planning in IHR.  This requires an in-depth understanding of the key risks and vulnerabilities derived from scientific assessments.”

The study has been authored by IIT Guwahati Anamika Barua Associate Professor Deptt. of Humanities and Social Science Principal Investigator Rupam Bhaduri Research Scholar Centre for the Environment Vishaka Gulati Research Scholar Deptt. of Humanities and Social Sciences IIT Mandi Shyamasree Dasgupta Assistant Professor School of Humanities and Social Sciences Co – Principal Investigator Kritishnu Sanyal Project Associate School of Humanities and Social Sciences Mir Khursheed Alam Research Scholar School of Humanities and Social Sciences IISc Bangalore N.H. Ravindranath Professor Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST) Key Resource Person Indu K Murthy Consultant Scientist Centre for Sustainable Technologies Tashina Esteves Research Associate Jagmohan Sharma Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Forest Conservation) Government of Karnataka.

It is to mention here that last year the government had decided to conduct a safety audit of river embankments of Jhelum and other streams.
 “Chief Engineers of Irrigation and Flood Control department have been directed to conduct zoning of river Jhelum and other streams and conduct safety audit of river embankments of Jhelum and other streams especially at vulnerable spots and plug it at an earliest besides also conduct physical survey of the encroachments in nallahs and rivers and ensure their immediate removal and store geo bags in advance,” the government had said.

The government had further informed that the DCs have been directed to collect an information of resources, including men, low lying areas, satellite phones, availability of geo quality of sand bags, JCBs, ambulances, tents, dewatering pumps, evacuation plan, storage of essential commodities, list of nodal officers, water tankers, water supply schemes, NGOs working for disaster management.

After 2014 deluge, the government had announced that dredging of river Jhelum would be completed by December 2016 to prevent floods in future.(KINS)

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