Skip to main content

Explore heavy militarization of Kashmir as reason behind Sept 2014 flood: Srinagar-based civil society coalition group

Counterview Desk
In its just-released study, Srinagar-based Jammu & Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), claiming to be an “amalgam” non-funded, non-profit, campaign, research and advocacy organizations, has strongly disputing the view that the unprecedented floods in South Kashmir valley in September 2014 were caused by 'cloud burst', or 'flash floods’.
Pointing out that such a view is “unsubstantiated” by the “meteorological and satellite evidence”, it says, it has been only spread to “bolster” the perception of the 'natural inevitability' of the flooding, even as emphasizing “official helplessness.”
The report says, as against the cloudburst theory, there is a “consensus” that the unseasonal and incessant heavy rainfall for about three and a half days, beginning on September 2-3, as well as unusually heavy and late snow in the past few winters, and a possible high degree of snow melt, was the cause of the flooding.
The Indian Meteorological department (IMD) data show between August 28 and September 10 the rainfall received (1645mm) in South Kashmir was (124.9mm, with the week ending September 10 seeing rainfall in excess over the weekly normal by as much as 792 per cent.
Titled “Occupation Hazard: The Jammu & Kashmir Floods of September 2014”, the report claims, the “extended period of unusually heavy rain indicates that the disaster management and weather monitoring mechanisms, both at the federal and state levels, had enough time (at least 24 hours) to issue widespread warnings, take precautionary measures, and put into place an evacuation plan.”
The report, running in 175 closely-typed pages, says, “Kashmir is a blind spot, in both the Central Water Commission (CWC) and the Indian Meteorological Department's monitoring and flood forecas6ng establishments.”
It says, “The CWC operates a network of 878 hydrological sites throughout India, data from which are used for issuing Level forecasts at 147 sites and Inflow forecasts at 28 sites. Level forecasts are information about the likely water level in the rivers in 12, 14, 16 and 18 hours in advance.” Yet, strangely “There is no CWC flood monitoring station in J&K.”
The report states, the Disaster Management Division of the CWC, which is responsible for compiling inputs from all the agencies, in its 'Situation report' for September 2, 2014 made “no mention of the threat of floods in J&K, despite forecasts of heavy rainfall.”

Role of militarization

The report believes, the problem appears to have got worse confounded due to huge presence of armed personnel across J&K, resulting “in a pattern of land use where almost every topographical feature of Kashmir's varied ecosphere, be it glaciers, forests, mountains, hills, paddy fields, stream beds or lakes have been subject to the environmentally destructive consequences of military manoeuvres, encampments, and permanent military establishments.”
The report claims, “This is particularly true of forested tracts and meadows in the mountains, and the tops of the arid karewa plateaus around villages, which are valued for their strategic utility.” It adds, “The land under occupation is not confined to the country-side alone, but extends to civilian areas in the midst of congested and land strapped cities, leading to their skewed and anomalous growth.”
Quoting a 2012 study by an independent consultant in the course of preparing the Srinagar Master Plan, the report says, “26 sq km (7%) of the city lands under the Master plan area (including Srinagar and a large semi–urban peripheral area) are under use by the army and paramilitary forces.”
The report adds “According to the latest available figures disclosed by the Chief Minister on the floor of the J&K State Legislative Assembly in 2015, a total of 97,125 acres of land are under possession of Army and paramilitary forces.” “Of this”, it adds, “Approximately 21,337 acres of land are under illegal occupation of the armed forces.”
Even as blaming 'unplanned development' and 'encroachments' in Srinagar's waterways, peripheral wetlands, and traditional flood basins, or the “unprecedented inundation and damage from the floods”, the report insists, “Perhaps the most significant, yet unnoticed impacts of the occupation and militarization of J&K, has been its effect on the valley's urbanization."
JKCCS affiliates include Srinagar-based Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, Public Commission on Human Rights, and International Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-administered Kashmir. 
JKSSC draws its support from Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearances, Coordination of Democratic Rights Organizations, Armed Conflict Resolutions and People’s Rights Project, all of which are based in western countries.

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Did Netaji turn blind eye to Japanese massacre while in Andaman during World War-II?

Dr Diwan Singh Kalepani museum off Chandigarh By Rajiv Shah  Did Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose ignore the massacre carried out by the Japanese army in Andaman and Nicobar islands during the Second World War? It would seem so, if one goes by the account of Mohinder Singh Dhillon, who authored a book in memory of his father, 'A Titan in the Andamans, Dr Diwan Singh Kalepani'. Dr Diwan Singh was tortured to death by the Japanese soldiers in the cellular jail in Andaman in 1944.

Sweden-backed study: India won't achieve 2030 UN goals, officials can't recognise SDG

By Rajiv Shah  A Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)-sponsored study, carried out by the advocacy group Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) India, seeking to analyse the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No 12, Responsible Consumption and Production (RCP), has regretted, it is "very unlikely" India will achieve any of the targets of SDG 12 by 2030 "unless some serious measures are taken by the government to reverse the present trend."

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Why Church in India today needs a Rutilio Grande, martyred for stance on social justice

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  For the people of El Salvador, January 22, 2022 will be more than just a red-letter day. Three of their sons, Jesuit Fr Rutilio Grande and his two lay associates 72-year-old Manuel Solorzano and 15-year-old Nelson Rutilio Lemus (and Italian Franciscan missionary Fr Cosme Spessotto who was also martyred) will be beatified in San Salvador.

Modi's Gujarat 'ignores' India's biggest donor of Azad Hind Fauj, Dhoraji's Habib Sheth

By Dr Hari Desai* One surely feels happy that the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is being installed near the India Gate in New Delhi. Every Indian and even Netaji’s 79-year-old daughter Prof Anita Bose Pfaff feels happy about the statue at the most important area of the capital. In an interview with an Indian TV, Anita, who is a German citizen, mentions that she thinks if not Netaji’s only Mahatma Gandhi’s statue should have been there. She may be aware that there existed a plan to install life-sized statue of the Father of the Nation at that place.  Even after differences with Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel which led Netaji to leave the Indian National Congress, Bose was the first person to call Mahtma Gandhi Father of the Nation on July 6,1944 in his Ragoon Radio broadcast, and sought Bapu’s blessings as the Supreme Commander of the Indian National Army (INA). Till 1968 there was statue of King George V at India Gate. It was removed and placed in the Coronation Park, New Del

'Dargah site was a temple': Claim in Gujarat following post-Babri verdict demands in UP

By Rajiv Shah  Will Gujarat also see demands to replace mosques and dargahs with Hindu temples? It would seem so, if a new fact-finding team conclusion is any indication. Apprehending the “danger” of communal conflagration, it has cited the claim on a 15th century dargah was originally a Hindu temple – allegedly quite on line with what has been happening in UP following the Supreme Court verdict on Babri Mosque.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Is it time to celebrate India's 'improved' sex ratio? Reasons to question NFHS data

By Aditi Chaudhary*  The recently published National Family Health Survey (NFHS) factsheet brought cheers amongst the public and the government. With Child Sex ratio (number of females per 1000 males in the age group 0 - 6 years) and overall sex ratio (the total number of females per 1000 males), both showing an improvement, NFHS-5 (2019-21) got applauded by all around.

Stop harassment, release Kashmir rights defender Khurram Parvez: Global NGO

By Our Representative  Ahead of his hearing on January 21, 2022, CIVICUS , a global civil society alliance with more than 10,000 members worldwide, has called upon the Government of India to “immediately and unconditionally” release human rights defender Khurram Parvez. “The judicial harassment he is facing highlights the repressive environment for activists and critics in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir”, it said in a statement.