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Drabu heads crisis management team, sounds flood alert well in advance
Mufti Govt's proactive approach exposes failure of Omar led regime
3/30/2015 11:58:31 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Mar 30: As flood threat looms over Kashmir, government has activated its men and machinery to face the crisis which may emerge due to flash floods hitting Kashmir once again as most rivers flowing across the Valley have crossed the danger mark.
When Kashmir got submerged in September 2014 government went missing from the ground but this time around situation is entirely different as officers and ministers are reviewing the situation on hourly basis and have taken preventive measures well in advance.
Sources told Early Times a team of ministers headed by the Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu arrived in Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar last evening and monitored the situation closely throughout the night. .
Officials of all the departments were directed to maintain a close vigil over the areas near Jehlum banks and to ensure that people are evacuated well before the water starts seeping into their houses. Even the boats were sent to the vulnerable areas and all the possible efforts were put to ensure that people remain alert.
Sources said that government has set up many makeshift shelters at safer places to ensure that people don't face any difficulties in these testing times. "A portion of Kandizal in south Kashmir was breached last night due to which city is still safe. Breaching Kandizal has prevented the water level in major rivers from swelling," they claimed.
Authorities didn't make any official announcement about Kandizal being breached as people at the helm did not want masses to get panicked, sources said, adding that officials of the Flood Control and Irrigation department were manning the sensitive locations and thousands of sand bags were placed on river embankments to thwart any eventuality.
There is no doubt about the fact that situation is grim and increasing water levels are indicating that one more flood is knocking at the doors of people but everyone is hoping that September 2014 won't be repeated again. Government playing a pro-active role and remaining accessible has provided some sort of security to the common people as they are feeling that administration is active and efforts are being put to save them.
Just a few months before Omar Abdullah led regime faced the same crisis but their response was totally contrary to what people are witnessing today. Ministers and bureaucrats vanished in thin air and ensured that they shift to safer places leaving people in lurch. Most top officials and politicians took refuge at Hari Niwas on the foothills of Zabarwan hills and relished Wazwan hosted by Hospitality and Protocol department, while common people were left to fend for themselves.
The former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was the only visible face of the government during the crisis which gripped Kashmir on September 7, 2014. Omar appeared on TV channels and expressed his helplessness and couldn't do much. It's unfortunate that no serious attempt was made to save the Srinagar city during 2014 September deluge. Srinagar got inundated within a few hours after Jehlum and other rivers crossed the danger mark. Irony is that even the people from low lying and flood prone areas were not evacuated. No attempt was made to inform the people that water levels are increasing and it's moving towards their dwellings.
This time around people are aware that flood threat is looming large and many people from low lying areas have shifted to safer places to save themselves from getting trapped in flood waters. The alert sounded by the government well in advance has allowed the shopkeepers in Lal Chowk and other areas to shift their merchandize and everyone is at least trying to be safe in case flash floods hit Kashmir.
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