Dealing with floods

Sir,
Incessant rains and devastating landslides have wrecked havoc again affecting normal life across the state.The rivers and streams were in spate and many roads including the Jammu & Kashmir National Highway – the lifeline to the Kashmir valley were closed for vehicular traffic following landslides at many places.Many parts of Srinagar  remained submerged under water for some days.All this has brought back the memories of September 2014 floods in which many precious lives were lost and property worth crores of rupees was destroyed both in the Jammu region and the Kashmir valley, besides huge loss to the standing crops.But fortunately ,the situation was not so alarming this time  though there had been sad reports of some deaths especially in Budgam district. With the improvememt in weather ,people have started returning to their homes.But the million dollar question is whether we are prepared to effectively deal with the situation arising out of the inceassant rains and inundation of roads like the one during September 2014 floods and whether we have taken adequate steps to prevent situation which led to massive devastation of property and heavy loss of life in September last year.
The need of the hour, therefore ,is to realise the fact that our state is vulnerable to natural calamities such as landslides, heavy snowfall, flashfloods, cloudbursts etc and we have to equip ourselves with trained manpower and machinery to face the situation and and keep them on alert to minimise the loss of life and property.At the same time there is need to take stringent steps such as checking encroachments on riverbanks, making people aware of the dangers of constructing houses in low lying areas,planting more and more trees on river banks, barren lands and everywhere to check soil erosion and landslides etc.Strengthening the bunds of the major rivers and activating and training the disaster management force, army, police md public at large to face such disasters of unprecedented magnitude is what is required to tide over a situation like this.
Yours etc….
Ashok Sharma,
Flat No 4,Housing Colony,
Udhampur

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