Posted on September 13, 2022
Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) and Himalayan Forest Research Institute (HFRI) have recommended the construction of flood control dams upstream of Srinagar to prevent recurring flooding in Kashmir.
ICFRE and HFRE have submitted a detailed project report (DPR) to Jammu and Kashmir government for flood mitigation. Titled `Forest Interventions for rejuvenation of Jhelum river’, the report has recommended a slew of measures for flood mitigation.
“The flood peak is very high at Sangam, which could be reduced by construction of flood control dams i.e., detention storage in a number of the southern tributaries. Unfortunately, because of the steep gradient of the tributaries, the storage by more height dams is likely to be quite low,” the report said.
The report has also called for extensive flood mitigation work on the areas upstream of Srinagar, and areas below Srinagar to Wular.
The DPR said the sites for the construction of small dams need to be identified to restrict flooding during the rainy season.
“Many southern tributaries are of similar lengths and gradients… Storage, at suitable sites, would not only reduce the peak flow in the tributaries but also delay the peak. Therefore, the storage at existing water bodies on the Lidder and Kuthar Nallahs should be attempted,” it said.
The report also recommended enhancing the flood control role of Anchar Lake in Srinagar.
“Part of the Sind Nallah’s flow passes through Anchar Lake. It provides natural temporary flood storage, hence reducing the peak flow from Sind Nallah. Enhancing the flood control role of Anchar Lake is an option that needs to be assessed,” the DPR added.
Downstream of Wular lake to Salambad, the DPR said there is a proposal for a 40m widening of the OFC from the outlet from Wular Lake to the Lower Jhelum hydropower barrage.
“One possible solution suggested is to construct flood control storage within the Pohru Nallah, which would also act as a sediment trap preventing much of its sediment load from reaching the Outfall Channel. Even then, the soil conservation works in the catchment of Pohru Nallah would be required to prolong the life of such a silt trap structure,” it said.
The report said the volume of Wular Lake has reduced substantially because of the sediment inflow. “Dredging of Wular Lake should be undertaken to restore, or at least partially restore, its capacity,” it said.
Pertinently, Jal Shakti Department is also carrying out a study for assessing the flood hazard risk. Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) coupled with a Decision Support System will be set up for effective and prompt response to any flood-related disaster.