Pampore residents blame admin for putting their lives in danger

Pampore residents blame admin for putting their lives in danger
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Ask for immediate repair of Jhelum embankment

PAMPORE: Residents of Pampore town and adjoining areas have blamed the authorities for putting their lives at risk as they have failed to repair the Jhelum embankment in the town.

The residents told Kashmir Reader that during the 2014 floods, the embankment developed breaches in many places, including Frestbal, Drangbal, Eidgah, Kadlabal and Galander, which were temporarily plugged and subsequently abandoned.

“The administration along with the government did not pay heed to repair the banks, and a slight rise in water level creates panic in the town,” said Bashir Ahmad Bhat, president of Fallah Behbood Committee, Pampore.

The residents alleged that during the so-called repairs, the contractors just made money and sold sand in the name of dredging and strengthening the embankment.

“A slight rise in water level could prove disastrous for the town,” said Mohammad Yosuf Malik, a resident of Drangbal, adding that it has become a routine for people to safeguard their belongings which they have now taken to storing on the first and second floors of their houses as a threat of flood remains looming over the town.

Malik said they had time and again appealed and sent representations to the government for increasing the height of the embankment.

Farooq Ahmad, a resident of Frestbal, told Kashmir Reader that the embankment at Frestbal was damaged in the 2014 floods and the bund that had suffered breaches had been constructed almost four decades ago.

“Government has never shown sincerity in renovating or providing an alternative or reconstructing this bund which has key government departments at its mouth and whose breeching can engulf not only people but whole records,” said Farooq, adding that the residents have appealed to the Governor for considering their genuine demands.

On 7 September 2014, the town of Pampore was completely submerged in water in one of the worst floods the Valley has witnessed. The bunds of the river Jhelum, roads, scores of residential houses and public property, including the High Court complex in Srinagar, receiving station, schools and the Sericulture office as well as orchards and paddy fields suffered heavy damage in the devastating floods. Agricultural land has also been washed away in the town, locals said.

The residents also threatened to hold protests if the administration did not take up these matters on a priority basis.