River model to help J-Kprepare for floods

JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir Government will soon get a 3D terrain model of major rivers called digital elevation model to improve disaster management planning to deal with a deluge like the one in September 2014, which led to large-scale destruction of infrastructure in the state.

Sumit Hakhoo

Tribune News Service

Jammu, May 19

The Jammu and Kashmir Government will soon get a 3D terrain model of major rivers called digital elevation model to improve disaster management planning to deal with a deluge like the one in September 2014, which led to large-scale destruction of infrastructure in the state.

Officials have said when completed, it will be used to implement the ambitious project of the government to create alternative flood channels to act as drainage in scenarios of heavy rain to save populated centres from floods and saving infrastructure worth billions, particularly in the Kashmir valley.

In the first phase, the National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad, under the Indian Space Research Organisation, is helping the state Department of Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing to create a digital copy of the Jhelum and its catchment area, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Later, the project will be extended to build such maps of other river systems, especially the Chenab and the Tawi in the Jammu region. The length of the Jhelum from its source to Baramulla up to the ceasefire line is 165 km. The Jhelum rises from the Pir Panjal range near the Verinag spring in Anantnag district.

“The digital elevation model will be the first of its kind for the Jhelum, which will help the government make better use of land and save people from floods. There is a need to plug the gaps for future course of action so that we are ready to face such challenges with better preparedness,” said Suresh Chugh, Director, Department of Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing, Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir experienced catastrophic rain from September 1 to 6 last year with the state experiencing continuous 30-hour rainfall on September 4, that broke the record of decades.

About 12 lakh families got affected due to the floods. A total of 281 persons lost their lives with 196 dead in Jammu province and 85 in Kashmir. A total of 29 persons were reported missing in the floods.

The floods affected 2,489 villages in Kashmir and 3,153 in the Jammu division. About 800 villages remained submerged for over two weeks. Scientists said had urban planning been done keeping in view the threat, the state would not have faced such a scenario.

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