NIDM stresses early warning system to mitigate floods in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, OCT 13: The National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) has stressed the importance of establishing an early warning system to mitigate floods in Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir is vulnerable to natural disasters like avalanches, earthquakes, and floods.

In a recent report on the 2014 flood in Kashmir, the NIDM emphasized the need for corrective measures to prevent future disasters.

“The task is being taken up by several departments such as IMD and the Irrigation and Flood Control Department; their efforts have improved the early warning system in the region. However, it is still a long way process and the flood early warning system needs more improvement if looked at from the perspective of a deluge like 2014,” the report, a copy of which lies with Morning Kashmir, says.

The report calls for better utilization of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) funds to bolster available resources and ensure their effective use for disaster preparedness and relief. It highlights the delay in upgrading the Jammu and Kashmir Institute of Public Administration and Rural Development to a State Institute of Disaster Management (SIDM), which is vital for capacity-building and serves as a technical, training, planning, and analysis arm of the State Disaster Management Authority.

Additionally, the report emphasizes the impact of unregulated extraction of natural resources such as sand, gravel, and boulders from riverbeds, which increases the susceptibility of rivers to flash floods. Long-term measures recommended include constructing alternative flood channels, improving urban drainage systems, restoring natural drainage and wetlands, and incorporating flood and earthquake vulnerability considerations into city planning, it says.

 “Most of these developmental activities are usually undertaken with utter disregard to environmental, geological, geomorphological, and ecological conditions of the region. The ongoing construction boom is being fed by indiscriminate mining of sand, gravel, and boulders from riverbeds, which intends to weaken the existing flood control infrastructure which, in turn, makes the rivers more vulnerable to flash floods,” the report mentions.

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