3 agencies send 30 pumps to one locality, nothing to another; Both still deluged
The administrative failure in dewatering City localities even after three weeks since floods hit Srinagar could be gauged from the fact that recently various departments assigned the task send 30 odd pumps to one locality and nothing to another equally devastated colony.
Top sources said Home department has received a report that the other day as many as 29 pump sets were set operational in Raj Bagh locality whereas no dewatering machine was sent to Bemina, which too continues to be deluged above ground floors and where people were staging roadside protests.
The next day following public resentment 10 pumps were sent to Raj Bagh and only one to Bemina. “Other pumps were deployed to localities were waters have already receded.”
Officials said presently three key agencies associated with the dewatering include UEED, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation(SMC) and the Fire and Emergency Services Department (FESD) –all believed to be “coordinated” by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and the District Development Commissioner. “But the coordination has been such that no department knows about the areas where other department pumps in its resources. It’s all chaotic haphazard,” said an insider.
He said the height of negligence is that the civil administration still doesn’t even know about the exact number of localities which are deluged and those were waters receded. “Everyday by one agency or the other pumps are being sent to the localities were waters receded naturally so as to pretend that motors were pressed into service, which obviously means money minting for officials,” said a FESD insider.
The failure of the civil administration to visit the flood-hit areas has left only police aware about the ground reality. “Trust me for all practical reasons it is only the City police particularly the Thana people who not only know about the ground reality but even maintain a record of the same,” said a Home department official asking not to be identified. “We have updated information about the status of deluge of each and every locality of Srinagar. And for us sharing this information won’t take more than a few minutes,” admitted a police official posted in south City.
Observers said it was high time for the civil administration to coordinate through police for dewatering. “If the Div Com, the DC and SMC Commissioner bother to take out time to evolve a joint strategy to accomplish dewatering, things will be under control in a day,” said a retired official in know of the matter. “There should be a unified mechanism for dewatering because for now one department doesn’t know what the other is doing.”
Despite repeated attempts the concerned could not be contacted for comments.