Mufti demands probe into ‘mismanagement’ of floods

Calling for a high-level inquiry into the management of recent floods, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, Monday said it needs to be conclusively established whether every effort was made to save Srinagar and other areas from the deluge.
Addressing a meeting of senior party leaders, legislators, constituency in-charges and workers here said there is an impression that the established flood control practices were not followed which could be the reason for widespread destruction of the capital city. The meeting, according to a party spokesman, was convened to take stock of the unprecedented devastation caused by the flood.
Mufti said the flood had resulted in complete collapse of the command and control system besides hitting the jugular vein of Kashmir’s economy. He said the focus of the flood control strategy in Kashmir has always been the prime concern for the safety of capital as any damage to the seat of power and hub of business affects the entire state. “The sequence of events would suggest that the centuries-old established procedure was not followed fully which could have contributed to the catastrophe,” he said.
Mufti said such an event having taken place in spite of advance warnings and a weeklong rise in water levels indicates “criminal negligence” in meeting the challenge which calls for “fixing of responsibility for such a costly failure” that has taken lives, properties, businesses, official and personal records and public infrastructure. “Inquiry is also unavoidable to prevent dereliction of duty in future if that is established,” said Mufti.
He said the damage caused to residential houses and business premises, merchandise and industry, tourism, agricultural and horticulture is colossal and heartrending and it will need a massive effort by all to rebuild Kashmir and lives of its residents. He said while most areas of Kashmir valley like South Kashmir  and many places in North Kashmir and Jammu like PirPanjal and Udhampur took the brunt of flood, the destruction of Srinagar and its reconstruction represent the biggest challenge.
Mufti urged the government to establish a credible and impartial monitoring system to ensure transparency in distribution of relief.