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Srinagar/Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir has been through an unusual situation during the last fortnight with cloudbursts occurring with frightening frequency.


Photo Credit: itimes.com


The freak phenomenon after last year’s unprecedented floods has put the common man on the edge.

Six people were killed last week as multiple cloudbursts hit the north Kashmir mountain villages of Kulan, Rizan, Gagangir, Sonamarg, and the Baltal base camp of the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.

Many heads of cattle, besides sheep and goats, in the meadows have also reportedly perished because of cloudburst during this period.

The damage to private property and government infrastructure by cloudbursts in the Jammu region has been more, though fortunately no human being lost life due to this freak weather phenomenon in Jammu region.

Government buildings, including some schools and health centers, besides private property including shops and residential houses, were damaged in Poonch and Ramban districts because of cloudbursts.

Warm, sunny mornings have been followed by sudden gathering of clouds followed by high thunderstorm/ cloudburst activity during the last 15 days as the people look skywards to gauge from where the next tragedy is likely to strike.

“Last year, there was an unprecedented flood that devastated low lying areas in the Kashmir Valley and this year it is the higher reaches that seem to be targets of divine wrath. Nobody knows what is in store for us,” said a worried Muhammad Ramzan, 57, who lives in north Kashmir’s Kangan area on the Srinagar-Leh national highway.

Sanam Lotus, director of the local Met Office, explained the freak weather active at present in the state.

“This year, the frequency of cloudbursts and thunderstorms has been unusually high in Jammu and Kashmir. There has been more than normal thunderstorm and rainfall activity because of the monsoon in the state.

“Because of high rainfall activity in March we almost had a flood like situation on our hands this year,” Lotus told IANS.

“In fact, post the September 2014 floods, there has been record breaking rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir, but heavy rainfall does not necessarily cause cloudbursts.

“For cloudbursts to occur, three conditions are important: there should be enough moisture in the air, the atmosphere should be warm and it should also be unstable, which means there should be convective activity (warming of the earth),” Lotus added.

“Unfortunately, despite rains during the last 20 days that have been moderate to light, the general daily warmth does not reduce.”

Asked why Kashmiris generally believe the monsoon clouds do not cross the Pir Panjal Mountains and drain out before a few of them manage to cross the high mountains and reach the Valley, the weatherman said: “That is a myth.”

“The fact is that the monsoons do not only cross and pour in the valley, these even cross the Himalayas and reach the Ladakh region,” he added.

Lotus, however, had a heartening word as well. “The monsoon, as of today, is not very active over the state. Normally, the monsoon withdraws by September 15, but may be delayed by a few days”, he said.

Asked about the precautions against cloudbursts, Lotus said: “I am not an expert on that. But while choosing residential sites, people must select safe sites by which I mean they should take topography including slope, vulnerability, and the like into consideration.”

Lotus believed the vagaries of nature can be mitigated and their impact can be rendered less severe by putting knowledge and technology into practice.

“Believing that low-lying areas are flood-prone is okay, nobody guarantees complete safety from nature’s fury in the higher reaches. That seems to be the message,” said a stoic Ghulam Mustaffa, 64, a resident of Baramulla district.

(IANS)


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Photo by GOI.

New Education Policy 2020

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020.

Apart from senior RSS leader Suresh Soni, representatives of various organisations associated with the Sangh Parivar -- working in the field of education -- were present in the meeting in New Delhi.

According to sources, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who attended the meeting on behalf of the government, shared information related to the National Education Policy-2020 and the government's policy on important issues related to the education sector. Pradhan also shared details of the efforts being made by the government in the field of education.

Discussions were also held regarding the impact of the situation arising out of Corona and how much it has affected the education sector.

In the meeting, the RSS leaders asked several questions and provided suggestions to the Union Minister regarding the education policy of the government.

According to the sources, RSS wants the policy to be implemented expeditiously. All aspects related to the policy were discussed in Tuesday's meeting.

On the second and the last day of the meeting on Wednesday, special issues related to education will be discussed in which representatives of various organisations of the Sangh, Union Ministers and several BJP leaders will be take part.

Meanwhile, in order to convey its point of view to the government on various issues, the Sangh keeps on calling such coordination meetings related to specific issues, in which RSS representatives -- working in that particular area -- provide feedback to the government. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: BJP, RSS, New Education Policy, Education, India


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