Srinagar: The Minister of State for Irrigation and Flood Control Syed Farooq Ahmad Andrabi has blamed people for blocking water outlets and encroaching upon water bodies, which he said leads to frequent floods in Kashmir.
“God is not happy with Kashmir,” Andrabi told Kashmir Reader.
“Kashmiri people blame government for not doing much to prevent floods. What else we could have done in the past two years? We tried to take all measures so that Srinagar, the crown of Kashmir, is not flooded. The people encroached upon water bodies by constructing illegal structures during the turmoil. When we could not get a cement bag, these people got cement, steel, masons, carpenters and other things need for the construction of buildings. So how is government to be blamed for blocking water outlets and encroaching upon lakes and rivers?
He said these “very encroachers used to provide stones and bricks to the stone throwers and create mess in Kashmir”.
“These encroachers have developed interest in the turmoil,” Andrabi said, adding, “During the 1990s, colonies were constructed on wetlands and other streams which completely blocked water outlets. When we start taking action, the people move to court and stop work,” Andrabi said.
The minister said the dredging and other developmental works could not be carried out because the National Conference-led government has left behind a debt of Rs 22,000 crore.
“We are paying debts and trying to utilize the limited resources for the dredging and other purpose”.
Torrential rains for only two leads led to the flooding of major river and streams in Kashmir on Friday.
At a few places, the river Jhelum and its tributaries crossed the flood level.