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Above average rainfalls are keeping flood threat alive in JK

Hirra Azmat




Srinagar, July 5: Kashmir has been receiving above average rainfall in June, making the valley fear a possible flood.

A flood alert was sounded last week when the water level in the Jhelum rose above the danger mark.

This triggered panic among the masses, who feared a repeat of 2014.


Although the threat has passed for now, the respite might be short lived as the slight to moderate downpour causes a flood-like situation in parts of Kashmir.

At the same time, the government has not taken any preventive measures to avoid such situations, as Valley had been at the verge of floods several times in the last three years.

Official figures of Meteorological Department show that the month of June has frequently seen a spurt in seasonal precipitation.

The figures reveal that Srinagar, the summer capital, has received 73.9 millimeters (MM) of rain in June against the average of 43.5mm.

Districts and tourist destinations, Kupwara, Kokernag, Qazigund, Gulmarg and Pahalgam have received 67.6mm, 200.5, 144mm, 141mm and 135.6 mm against the average of 57 mm, 78 mm, 70 mm, 101 mm and 90 mm, respectively.

Deputy Director Meteorological Department, Mukhtar Ahmad, said Kashmir has been receiving above average rainfall in the month of June.

“South Kashmir comprising of Shopian, Kulgam, Kokernag, Qazigund, Pahalgam and Anantnag can face the highest risk of floods in the valley every-time the areas receive above average rainfall,” he said.

The Deputy Director said the occurrence of floods is most likely if these areas record more than 75 mm of rainfall.

“The continuous 48-72 hours of rainfall can lead south Kashmir to another flood-like situation,” he said.

Experts attribute the massive rainfall to merging of western disturbances and monsoon at the same time.

“There was already a strong presence of western disturbances and monsoon also struck the valley in mid-June adding to the moisture levels,” said Mukhtar

The Deputy Director said the inadequate carrying capacity within the banks of rivers is major factor contributing to floods.

“The carrying capacity of Jehlum and flood channels has been reduced over the years that it can’t tolerate even rains of 48 to 72 hours,” Mukhtar said.

He added, “The need of the hour is the scientific and extensive dredging throughout the length and breadth of Jehlum and its tributaries along with concrete bunds.”

An official of Irrigation and Flood Control Department said that Wular Lake, which is the largest flood absorption basin has lost the water carrying capacity due to host of factors.  “Several surveys have found that gross human interference, deforestation, encroachments, chocking of water ways and reduction in capacity of wet lands due to heavy siltation posing an imminent threat of floods even by average downpour,” the official added.


ASI among three cops injured in Rajbagh grenade blast



Srinagar, Jan 17: Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of police and two traffic cop were injured in a grenade blast near Zero Bridge in Rajbagh area of Srinagar city in Central Kashmir on Thursday afternoon.
Reports said that suspected militants lobbed a grenade on police party near Zero Bridge in Rajbagh.
In the blast, three policemen including an ASI of police and two traffic policemen sustained splinter injuries and were evacuated to SMHS hospital for treatment.
The injured has been identified as Iqbal Singh (ASI of JKAP 14 Bn) and traffic policemen Haris Manzoor (SPO) and Sanullah (Head Constable).
While ASI Iqbal has sustained splinter injuries to both of his legs, Haris suffered an injury to the back side of his neck and Sanullah suffered injuries in his right leg.
SSP Srinagar Imtiaz Ismail Parray confirmed the attack and subsequent injuries to the ASI and two traffic cops.
Soon after the attack, the government forces cordoned off the area and launched a hunt to nab the attackers.
Security forces have launched a massive search operation in Rajbagh and adjoining areas near Zero Bridge after three police personnel including assistant sub-inspector were injured in a grenade attack by the terrorists on Thursday.
Homes and hotels in the area were searched frisking was also carried out. It was the first major terrorist attack in the Srinagar city this year. The injured cops are undergoing treatment at the hospital.
Meanwhile Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has claimed responsibly of the grenade attack on the forces’ party at Raj Bagh area of Srinagar.
A JeM spokesperson Muhammad Hassan in a statement claimed that two forces personnel were killed and 6 critically injured in the attack.
An ASI of police and two traffic cops were injured in a grenade blast near Zero Bridge, Raj Bagh in Thursday afternoon.

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2018 has been remarkable year for forces: Army commander

Global News Service



Srinagar, Jan 17: A top army commander on Thursday described 2018 as “remarkable year” for government forces, saying that more than 250 militants were killed, 54 others were arrested and four others surrendered in Kashmir Valley.
“The year 2018 has been a remarkable year for armed forces on the security front. As per the record of last ten years, army along with other forces have neutralized many militants. Many militants have surrendered under pressure and many others were arrested alive,” said Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, GoC-in-C Northern Command told reporters after inaugurating Kalai Bridge constructed by Border Roads Organization.
“More than 250 militants were killed, 54 others arrested and four others have surrendered,” he said, adding, “This speaks about the strength of our security establishment,” the officer said.
He said that the army was giving “befitting reply” to Pakistan army along the Line of Control whenever there were instances of any ceasefire violation or snipping.
“As per wireless and other intercepts, Pakistan army and militants suffered a huge loss in our retaliatory action.”
The Kalai Bridge spans over Suran River and connects Kalai area to Chandak area in Poonch district. During the inaugural function, the Army Commander addressed the gathering of Army, GREF and local residents and said that the Kalai bridge is an important milestone towards enhancing the road communication in the area.
“The bridge is an important strategic asset as it enhances the movement of military equipment and troops in a faster time frame,” he said. The Indian Army and BRO have been working towards infrastructure development in the remote and far-flung areas and improving the road connectivity, he said.
“The bridge will reduce traffic congestion in the city and ease out inconvenience caused to the people specially those moving towards Budha Amarnath Shrine in Mandi as it reduces the travelling time considerably.”
The Army Commander appreciated the contribution of the District Administration for their support and cooperation during the construction of the bridge.


Beg to differ: Omar Abdullah


Srinagar, Jan 17: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah on Thursday lashed out at the Northern Command Chief Lt General Ranbir Singh, on his “great year for security forces” remark.
Taking to Twitter, Abdullah wrote, the compulsion of killing militants/terrorists shouldn’t be treated as a cause for celebration.
“I beg to differ, a great year would be one in which no young man would join militancy, no terrorists would be killed & no security personnel would lose their lives in encounters. The compulsion of killing militants/terrorists shouldn’t be treated as a cause for celebration,” Abdullah wrote.
Abdullah was reacting to a statement by Gen Singh on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Kalai bridge in Poonch district. Gen Singh said 2018 had been a great year for the security forces as they had managed to kill 250 terrorists.

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Heartening to meet Kashmiri students in Bangladesh: Shahid Afridi




Srinagar, Jan 17: Star Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi on Thursday met Kashmiri students in Bangladesh and interacted with them.

Afridi said that it was heartening to see Kashmiri students in Bangladesh who are studying medicine.“Heartening meeting with some Kashmiri students who are in Bangladesh on scholarship, studying Medicine. Keep up the hard work and making your people proud!,” he tweeted.

Afridi in the past has been in controversies over Kashmiri over his support to the Kashmir cause. He has been vocal about letting the people of Kashmir decide their future.

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