Pampore water-logging triggers protests; Several families evacuated in Baramulla, Anantnag, Ganderbal
The water level in river Jhelum Tuesday receded below danger mark in the wake of a dry spell in the Valley, even as weatherman predicted light to moderate rains in next 24 hours. The Srinagar-Jammu reopened for one-side traffic, officials said.
‘MORE RAINS EXPECTED’
Director Meteorological department Sonam Lotus said from Wednesday afternoon till Thursday evening, J&K is likely to witness moderate to rather heavy rainfall. “There will be light to moderate rainfall on Tuesday evening,” he said.
In the backdrop of fresh weather warning, officials said they are ready to meet any eventuality. Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Tuesday evening chaired a high level meeting to discuss the weather warning.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Farooq Ahmad Lone said the administration is gearing up to deal with the situation that may arise due to expected spell of rainfall.
“Things have improved a lot,” he said, adding, “NDRF teams have been kept on standby. We have six police stations on alert to tackle any situation erupting from vulnerable areas of Srinagar.”
Incessant torrential rains have caused massive water logging in Indra Nagar and Sonawar areas of Srinagar, while locals slammed the administration for making “no efforts” to dewater the localities.
Rains have also led to water-logging in different areas across Kashmir including Batamaloo, Channapora, Lal Bazar, Bemina, Fruit Mandi HMT, Pampore and some areas in Anantnag, disrupting flow of traffic.
Vehicular movement has come to a halt at Kadlabal, Pampore due to water logging on main road.
The administration diverted traffic via Namlabal while police evacuated several families from Drangbal and shifted them to Block Office Pampore, locals said.
J&K Police said it has deployed its men and officers for patrolling on banks of river Jhelum in areas including PanthaChowk, R M Bagh, Rajbagh, Kothibagh, M R Gunj, Safakadal and Parimpora.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, SJMGillani Tuesday visited various vulnerable areas of Srinagar including Shivpora and KursuRajbagh. He took stock of situation and asked deployed cops to remain vigilant, a police spokesman said.
The 300-km Srinagar-Jammu highway was thrown open for vehicular traffic Tuesday after three days of its closure, officials said.
“The highway was opened for one-way traffic from Jammu to Srinagar,” a Traffic Department official said.
“Only light vehicles were allowed to ply on the highway in the morning. Trucks carrying essential supplies to Kashmir were also allowed to move from Udhampur later in the day.”
The Highway however remained blocked at Pampore in Pulwama district due to the submergence of main road.
Reports said the highway from Kadlabal to Drangbal remained under three-feet water for the whole day.
The traffic was consequently diverted from interior narrow roads, causing horrific jams. The highway has sunk between Drangbal and Frastbal and a major part of it has collapsed, triggering panic among residents of low lying areas, witnesses said.
The locals staged protest against the government for failing to address the water-logging.
However MoS Muhammad Ashraf and Deputy Commissioner PulwamaNeeraj Kumar reached the spot and assessed the situation.
The minister assured the residents of quick action on dewatering the area.
Two residential houses collapsed due to landslides triggered by incessant rains in Kokernag even as the administration evacuated several families in the area as well as other parts of the district. However, water level in Jhelum and other major streams has considerably receded after improvement in weather.
“Three residential houses collapsed due to landslides in Sonabarie village in Kokernag area last night,” an official said. The houses belonged to Akhtar Bhat and Karim Bhat.
However, he said, no causality was reported as inmates had already been evacuated after the houses started developing cracks.
Deputy Commissioner Anantnag Bashir Ahmad Khan and Additional Deputy Commissioner ShabirHussainBhat visited several affected areas to assess the situation.
“Eight families in Adihal villages of Kokernag situated on the foothills were evacuated and shifted to safer places after massive soil erosion and drifting of land,” said an official.
He said several families were evacuated in Utersoo area of Shangus, Srigufwara area in Bijbehara, Kapran area of Dooru after landslides and soil erosion in adjacent hillocks.
“In Nagras village of YK Pora in Qazigund area at least 12 families were evacuated and shifted to safer places as land erosion there damaged several houses,” an official said.
WEATHER WARNING FOR SHOPIAN:
People living in areas of Keller, Zampatheri, Phalipora, Dunaroo, Bataphogen, Mujpatheri, Kreachipathri, HeerporaDuchana, Ringward, Devpora, Kathuhallan, Shahlatoo and all the upper reaches of district Shopian have been asked to take precautionary measures and move to safe structures in case there is apprehension of landslides.
According to reports, in Baramulla tehsil alone around 200 families of 80 residential houses are affected by the recent rains and landslides.
In Wagoora area of Sangrama constituency, around 25 residential houses have suffered cracks and several thousand hectare land had been damaged in these areas.
Reports from Rafiabad suggest more than 25 residential houses have suffered cracks following incessant rains and landslides.
Reports of cracks to several residential houses came from Pattan area of Baramulla district.
Reports from Ganderbal district of central Kashmir said more than one dozen families were shifted to government schools due to threat of landslides and erosion of land at Yarmuqam and Mansbal villages Lar tehsil.