IFC blamed for carelessness
PAMPORE: Panic gripped in this Saffron town of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday morning after cracks started developing the bund of the river Jhelum at Galander area on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, but the timely action of authorities averted the major tragedy.
Locals said after the cracks were witnessed, the traffic movement on the highway was diverted. Both Irrigation and Flood Control (IFC) authorities and locals immediately swung into action and strengthened the bank.
Dozens of machines including JCBs and tippers and at least 100 labours were put on the job.
“The timely action by authorities saved the Pampore from another catastrophe as 2014 floods had wreaked havoc in the town,” the locals told Kashmir Reader.
They however said the spot where the breach took place had come to everybody’s notice in 2014 but “the Irrigation and Flood Control department did not take any action even after assessing the situation back then”.
“In 2014, it was the timely action of RAMKY that fixed the breach, through two hundred cement bags,” local said, adding, “Till now, nobody paid a visit to fix the breach. The Irrigation and Flood Control officials woke from their deep slumber only after seeing the rising waters again.”
Locals said there are several other spots which were not repaired in four years. “Many other weaker parts of the bank can be found at Drangbal, Kadlabal and Frestabal which can prove disastrous not only for Pampore but for many parts of the Srinagar City,” they said. “How could IFC forget these weaker parts of the bank?”
Meanwhile, the people have hailed the timely action of authorities including police in fixing the breach in bund and strengthening the bank.
“Soon after we were informed about the possible breach, we swing into action along with the concerned department,” SHO Pampore Mudasir Naseer told Kashmir Reader.
“As a precautionary measure, the traffic was diverted via four-lane which entered the town at Kadlabal,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Pulwama Ghulam Mohammad Dar, SP Awantipora Mohammad Zahid and other officials also visited the spot and took stock of the work being carried out.
Earlier, Kashmir Reader several times tried to contact the Deputy Commissioner Pulwama whose mobile was continuously switched off.
The locals also expressed resentment that they tried to contact the Deputy Commissioner but it was switched off.
“It was pathetic and irresponsible on part of the DC that he did not visit the spot on time and had switched off his mobile phone at a time when a major threat was looming over people,” they said.