Govt claims 90% Srinagar dewatered, locals refute

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Oct 02, 2014 21:19 IST

While Srinagar's several areas continue to face stagnant floodwater even after 23 days, the government on Thursday claimed to have dewatered 90% of the city.

"90% waterlogged areas have been cleared from water and dewatering process is in full swing in rest of the areas. Entire affected localities will be free from the water within next couple of days," said commissioner secretary PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control Dr Pawan Kotwal.

Contrary to the government claims, a huge area of Rajbagh, Mehjoor Nagar, Bemina, Jawahar Nagar and Padshahibagh remains under water.

"Parts of Bemina is under water. We used to take boat to reach our house. But with water stinking and insects breeding, we are forced to leave the locality," said Khursheed Bhat, a resident of Bemina.

Locals claimed the government was lying that 90% areas are dewatered. "Parts of the old city, Civil Lines, outskirts like Bemina, Batamaloo etc remains under water," said Jehangeer Ajaz, who runs a relief centre in Bemina.

"A well-knit strategy and coordinated efforts are required to achieve better results. Engineers have to keep strict vigil on the post-flood situation and plugging the breaches and cuts along the Jhelum expeditously," directed Kotwal.

He claimed the department took necessary and timely measures to prevent the flood "but the magnitude of water was so high and it was uncontrollable under the circumstances."

"The department issued timely warnings to the people staying along the river to shift to the safer areas, but that did not work and ultimately the city faced the fury. The administration will have to work on new lines to prevent such devastation in future," he said.

Meanwhile, the chief engineer, J&K Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED), has said that the department has restored STP Brari-Numbal along with all its pumping units on war footing basis to dewater the areas of Khanyar, Munawarabad, Khayam, Babademb, Naqashpora, Periphery areas of Brari-Numbal lagoon, Bishmbernager and Kalooipora.

He said that out of 76 dewatering pump stations, 52 stations were submerged, thus rendering all the pumping system defunct.

"The department imported 37 pumps, 45 mobile units and 26 heavy duty pumps from outside the state to dewater the submerged areas of Srinagar city. The pumps worked round-the-clock to dewater the submerged areas of Srinagar city," he added.

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