April 2017 News

Downpour Demonstrates How Kashmir's Civic Facilities Haven't Improved

6 April 2017
Kashmir Monitor
Mudassir Kuloo

Srinagar: Incessant downpour on Thursday caused water logging in parts of Kashmir Valley, exposing the poor drainage network, yet again. The intermittent rainfall going on since Tuesday turned heavier late on Wednesday leading to a brief but stormy spell of snowfall on Thursday morning. Consequently, several roads and by-lanes in the city have turned water-logged, causing immense hardships to the public. Heavy water logging was seen at Magarmal Bagh, Jehangir Chowk, TRC, Residency Road, Gantaghar, Samandar Bagh, Sonawar Shivpora, Jawahar Nagar, Rajbagh, Sanat Nagar, Safa Kadal, Karan Nagar, Batamaloo, and Qamarwari. Water seeped into several residential and commercial houses in Hamdania and Bilal colonies at Bemina, Samandar Bagh, Mahjoor Nagar, and Natipora. 'Water entered into many houses in our area,' said Yasir Ahmad, a resident of Bilal Colony, Bemina. The government has failed to drain out water from the area, he said. 'Our area is under 3-feet of water, with authorities doing nothing to help us,' a resident of Samandar Bagh, Lal Chowk, said. Umar Ahmad, a resident of Sakidafar where rain water has seeped into several shops, said the poor drainage system has become a 'nuisance' for the people. 'The government has failed to drain out the water,' he said. Old City areas especially Ganderpora, Lone Mohalla, and Firdous Colony at Eidgah also suffered water logging. The residents said there was no drainage system in place. 'We brought it into the notice of authorities several times, but to no avail,' Omar Ahmad of Eidgah said. Water logging resulted in traffic jams on several streets of the city. An official of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) blamed the 'poor drainage system'. He said some places were prone to water-logging because of their poor drainage system and unplanned constructions. 'In Srinagar city, only 37 per cent areas have a drainage network, and they never face water-logging. But our officials are on the job, draining away water,' he added. The SMC Commissioner, Dr Shafaqat Khan, said the corporation's employees have been in the field since Thursday morning. 'All employees and machinery have been pressed into service. All dewatering pumps are functioning to drain out water from Srinagar areas,' Khan said. He, however, said that some pumps were not functioning during the night due to lack of electricity. In south Kashmir's Anantnag district, heavy water-logging was witnessed at KP Road. 'Water is not being drained out from several roads and by-lanes of the district,' Imran, a resident of Anantnag, said. Similar reports were received from Budgam's Narbal, Chorpora, Gatapora, and Aarath areas. 'We always face water-logging, even due to slight rainfall. There is no drainage system in place here,' said Hanif Mir, a resident of Chorpora (Gatapora), Budgam. Scores of villages and roads in Baramulla, Sopore, and Tangmarg also remained inundated.