Doodganga roared as floodgate turned defunct; embankment cut later
Failure of the state flood control department to properly maintain a crucial flood gate on Doodganga water channel created a flood-like situation in uptown areas here, giving sleepless nights to people.
Sources said a flood gate has been recently built on the Doodganga nallah in old Barzulla opposite to Bulbul Bagh which is opened when water level rises to divert overflowing water into the flood spill channel having huge capacity.
“But on Wednesday evening when the water level crossed the upper mark in Doodganga, the flood control department authorities failed to open the gate which had got jammed perhaps due to non-maintenance,” sources said. They said the situation resulted in submergence of vast area along the banks of Doodganga.
Many localities like old and new Barzulla, the entire area on the right hand side of the Bone & Joint hospital, which is situated on the banks of the Doodganga, up to Sanat-Nagar Chowk got flooded.
The situation, the sources said, then took a dangerous turn when the upstream of the Doodganga started witnessing a sharp rise in the water levels.
“This water overflowed the bund on the left hand side of the Doodganga and crossed the Rambagh-Natipora road and entered the localities,” the official said.
Sources said sensing the danger the district administration sounded alert and diverted the traffic on Rambagh-Natipora road towards Barzulla during the wee hours.
“But the entire road stretch from Barzulla including the link road to the hospital up to the Sanat Nagar Chowk was already flooded and the water level was increasing,” the sources said.
The situation, they said turned “panicky” as people living on Rambagh-Natipora road on one side and Rambagh-Baghat road on the other side were coming out of their homes.
“This all happened due to the sluggish approach on part of the flood control department to properly maintain the installation,” the sources said.
They said since the water level had already crossed the upper mark and the situation was turning worse, the authorities decided to bring down a portion of the bund near the flood gate.
“They had failed to open the gate. Then the decision was taken to destroy a portion of the embankment using JCB to divert the water into the flood channel,” the sources said. “Within no time the water level in the Doodganga came down and authorities heaved a sigh of relief.”
The sources said as per the norms the department was required to carry out the inspection of the gate, for which they draw funds, regularly. “The gate turning defunct means it has not been inspected for a long time,” they said.
They said the flood gates were maintained by the civil engineers when it is the job of the engineers from the mechanical wing. “This is also the reason for these key installations turning defunct,” the sources said.
Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Javaid Jaffer, confirmed the department cut a portion of the bund to divert the water.
“One of the leaves of the gate slipped due to which the gate didn’t open and that is why the decision was taken,” the CE said. “We cut the bund after locals insisted for it.”