Kashmir Valley is once again face to face with a very precarious flood situation. The government sounded flood alert on Thursday evening in Srinagar city and some south Kashmir districts. Even as the authorities are monitoring the situation round-the-clock, but the reality is that there is not much that can be done. With incessant rains continuing and the weather office having predicted similar weather conditions until Saturday – though with some drop in the amount of precipitation from Thursday evening, the chances are that the floods will cause some damage to certain places – though it may not be of the kind and scale as was witnessed in September 2014.
As for the intervention from the government -- if everything goes well and the administration works to its maximum efficiency, the most it could do is that it could evacuate people of flood-hit and flood-prone areas to safety and thus minimize the loss to human life. This is what is needed at this juncture, particularly in case the weather shows some improvement Friday onwards. All the different agencies will have to pool in their resources and try and minimize the damage to every possible extent. People could also do themselves a lot of good by cooperating with the authorities. No doubt it is not a very easy decision to leave homes and hearths, their priced belongings and entire possessions behind, but then it also needs to be understood that in the face of the crisis like the current one, what is and must be the priority is the safety of human life. So instead of being adamant on sticking to their homes, people must also show the wisdom of prioritizing their physical safety and security over anything and everything material.
The government agencies – particularly the Flood Control department, Police, Fire and Emergency Services, the Disaster Management Cells, who have already been put on alert, are facing a huge challenge. This is the time when all these agencies will have to rise up to the occasion and prove their worth by trying to minimize the physical losses. The flood situation also poses a huge challenge to the engineering and management acumen of the government. Wise choices and prompt and calculated decisions vis-a-vis human interventions wherever the same are needed could go a long way in minimizing the damage. Similarly, it is the alacrity and promptness of the rescue teams in reaching the affected people which will make a huge difference. With the experience of 2014 floods in hindsight, what is expected this time round is that the government will spare no efforts in trying to salvage the situation as much as is humanly possible.
Hospitals and other health facilities too will have to pull up their socks to be in hyper-active mode to deal with the situation. Like in a war, the authorities are advised to make sure that the health facilities are in place, both in terms of the human resource as well as the requisite material, so that those who need medical intervention do not suffer for the want of same.
Common people too will have to chip in with their contribution this hour on need. They too can help not only by physically contributing in rescue efforts but more so in providing relief to the affected population. Let’s all rise up to the occasion and do whatever we can both individually and collectively to prove that our cries of social kinship and fraternity are not just confined to political slogans alone but that the same are sincere and real. This is the time when a simple act of ordinary kindness can make a big difference. Let’s do it and come to the help of those who need it desperately. One the sincerity of intention is there, it is not going to be difficult to find out how to help.