RAFIQ A WANI
SRINAGAR: After the September floods that ravaged large parts of Kashmir the authorities in order to cover up their follies started to repair dykes without proper planning in Srinagar sending a wave of fear among the residents.
According to the Shivpora residents the embankment that was washed away at many places during the September floods was repaired by the Irrigation and Flood Control Department on war footing but “has once again developed cracks due to the leakage in water supply pipes laid underground.”
The locals say that they brought the matter into the notice of the Public Health Engineering officials but they ignored their pleas.
Mudassir Ahmad, a local told Kashmir Reader that the pipes that are being laid underground are leaking at various places.
“We appeal to PHE officials that the pipes must be placed over the bund surface so that any leakage would be easily noticed and repaired well on time in order to avoid damage to the bund,” he said.
During the floods Shivpora locality was one of the worst hit area and the Jhelum embankment got breached at 11 places.
When contacted Chief Engineer I&FC Javed Jaffar said, “We have taken up the matter with PHE officials and have asked them to install the pipes on the side of the bund.”
He said, “I&FC department is going to construct a toe wall at the bottom of the bund where breaches have occurred in order to strengthen it.”
Experts on the other hand are against lying of water supply pipes, sever lines and plantation of poplar trees on the embankments. They say that ‘Angle of Repose’ has to be maintained for every embankment. ‘Angle of Repose’ is the steepest angle of descent or dip relative to the horizontal plane to which a granular material can be piled without slumping.
Dr MA Lone, head of the Water Resource Engineering at the National Institute of Technology (NIT), while explaining the breaches in Jhelum bund said, “Because of the massive encroachment, the Angle of Repose had lost the strength to oppose any pressure. That explains why breaches have occurred in this vital structure around the river.”