Claiming that the recent unprecedented floods in the Kashmir Valley, particularly in Srinagar city, could have been prevented, Bharatiya Janata Party state spokesperson and senior leader Farooq Khan said that the floods which caused unprecedented destruction in Srinagar was the result of a 'man-made disaster' as has been confirmed by flood control experts, including senior retired engineers.
Addressing media persons, Khan said that it was because of the vested interests that three state government departments, the economic reconstruction agency (ERA), supervised by the chief minister directly, public works (R&B) department headed by Abdul Majid Wani and flood control department working under the irrigation and flood control minister Sham Lal Sharma, for the reasons best known to them decided to partially block the flood channel in Srinagar city at Mehjoor Nagar by constructing a road across it as a part of road diversion, thereby, causing a back flow of floodwaters, which were flowing through flood channel.
As per expert opinion, this road-cum-dam caused more than 20% blockade to floodwaters, creating a back flow, which ultimately over-flooded the bund near Kursoo, resulting into flooding of maximum localities of Srinagar, with Rajbagh and Jawahar Nagar being the worst hit, said BJP leader.
This, coupled with delayed opening of the gates of Dal, compounded the flood situation. All this happened when the floodwaters first noticed to cross the danger mark at Sangam took seven hours to reach Srinagar, thereby, giving enough time to the government machinery, especially essential and emergency services, to prepare and respond to the coming danger.
The state government and its machinery miserably failed to react and this led to a situation which has no parallel in the history of state with the people of Srinagar still marooned in many localities, said he.
In order to find the causes of this man-made disaster and to fix the responsibility, an impartial commission of enquiry by a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court has become all the more important, said the BJP leader.
The BJP warned the state government that in case it fails to set its house in order, the day would not be far when the public anger across the state would consume it.
State general secretary Kavinder Gupta, state spokesperson Balbir Ram Rattan, besides other BJP leaders were present during the press conference.