Author Archives: shahishaharyar

About shahishaharyar

Chartered civil engineer,Fellow institution of engineers India, Member Indian road congress,Member American society of civil engineers, Presented over 40 papers in various seminars,published books on environment,history,genealogy.

The Flood Fury of 2014 in Kashmir

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The Flood Fury of 2014.
It is said that, ‘Floods are acts of God, but acts of man cause flood damage’. The recent floods of Kashmir Valley are a testimony to this fact. The Holy Quran states:
“We sent Noah to the people …. (With a message)
But they rejected him
And We delivered him and those with him
In the Ark
But We overwhelmed
In the Flood those
Who rejected Our Signs
They were indeed
A blind people!” (7:59-64)
Noah’s warning was rejected by his generation and they were destroyed in the Flood. (C. 85)
The formation of Satisar is also reported to be a remnant of Noah’s deluge. The Japanese scholars have recently expressed high regards for Kashmir as according to them it is the first land-mass to emerge after the floods of Prophet Noah (called Manu) receded. Lawrence quotes in his Valley of Kashmir that it is said that where the Wullar rests there was a great and a wicked city which was swallowed up by an earthquake, and the floods completed its destruction. The meaning of the word ‘Wullar’ is cave and the legends say that the remains of the wicked city have been seen by the boatmen. The formation of Dal Lake is also ascribed to the flooding of Talni Marg during the reign of Raja Parvarsen in sixth century AD, who constructed an embankment from Rainawari to Dalgate (now a road) to block the drainage of the newly formed lake. The Valley witnessed again major flood in 879 AD in the reign of king Awantiwarman, when the low-lying areas of the Valley were flooded due to blockade of river Jhelum down below Varmul and Er. Suya devised an ingenious method of removing the blockade by dropping gold coins in the river bed, which resulted into the clearance of debris by local divers followed by release of dammed up waters to push the blockade downstream. “The flood of 1893 was a great calamity, but it had the good effect of warning the State that the valuable house property in Srinagar was inadequately protected. The protection works were taken in hand but at the same time, it was apprehended that the security of city means loss to cultivation on the banks of the river above Srinagar. The more Srinagar is protected the more obstruction there will be to passage of waters from south through the city. Thus, the founders of Srinagar have bequeathed a serious engineering problem to their successors”, says Lawrence. In 1959 floods, with almost equal discharge as of today, there has not been such a colossal damage as the pressure on the river was decreased first by allowing inundation of flood plains through Kandizal breach besides catering of one third of discharge by flood spill channel and also allowing a part of discharge to flow into Dal Lake, where water level was maintained lower than the present one, thus saving the city from inundation. In addition colonies had not come up at the low-lying areas of Rajbagh, Jawahirnagar, Mahjoor Nagar and Bemina etc., which formed flood lungs in emergencies. The Master Plan 2000-2021 describes that river Jhelum and its diversion channels namely Tsunti Khul, Kuta Khul, Soner Khul and Watel Khul were navigational per-se. These water courses contributed to a large extent to the environment, trade and water transport and helped to carrying down substantial volume of discharge during floods. Incidentally the proposed mechanized water transport on river Jhelum would have proved a great savior in the recent crisis. “Water transport on the water courses has dwindled for the reason that over a period of time cross sections of river and khuls have squeezed, beds have risen and draft dropped down due to heavy siltation. The banks of the river and khuls have been mis-used by the public and encroached upon”, says Lawrence.. Several recommendations have been made regarding reviving the carrying capacities of the river and the adjoining streams, but no action was taken till date despite passage of fourteen years of the city’s Master Plan period. It was a practice to mark with paint the HFL (Highest flood level) on the walls of important Govt. buildings to serve as a reference mark for raising the plinths of future constructions at least one meter higher than the HFL. It is high time that this practice is revived marking the current HFL for future guidance.
The recent flash floods have left many lessons for us to take care for future development. The chronological order of events that were reported in the media was as under:
01. Heavy rains lashed Jammu& Kashmir including summer capital Srinagar for the second consecutive day Wednesday triggering flood threat across the Valley. Water level at Ram Munshi Bagh in Srinagar 12 ft., six notches below danger mark; water level at Sangam Anantnag 21 ft., two notches below danger mark. Met. Deptt. forecast moderate to heavy rains to lash Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions till Saturday morning. (GK Sept. 3rd. 2014)
02. Flood threat looms over Kashmir. (GK Sept. 4th.)
03. Kashmir floods throw life out of gear, several areas inundated, many structures damaged. CM reviews situation. Flood alert sounded. Water level in Jhelum touches record level of 31 ft. The discharge of Jhelum was 70,000 cusecs against normal discharge of 25,000 cusecs. A breach occurred at Kandizal area of Budgam. Authorities asked people living in flood-prone areas and embankments of rivers and streams to shift to safer areas. More rains forecast on Friday. Flood waters breached many embankments in many low-lying areas in Kashmir including Srinagar, forcing people to move to safer places. Jhelum River crossed 30 ft. mark at Sangam in Anantnag-7 ft. above danger mark. It touched 21.8 ft against the danger mark of 18 ft. at Ram Munshi Bagh. Rains inundate city center, residential colonies.
Met Deptt. said, “though September is not a rainy season for Kashmir, but due to under-development of favourable weather system, there had been wide-spread heavy rain in past as well. One such year after 1980 was 1992 (September) when most parts of Kashmir received heavy rains apart from Sept. 1988 in Jammu region. In future also we cannot rule out heavy rainfall in September”.
Srinagar received 88 mm. rain, Qazigund 286 mm.,Pahalgam 115 mm.,Kupwara 61 mm.,Kukarnag 219 mm., Jammu 107 mm., Banihal 248 mm.,Katra 158 mm., Badarwah 165 mm. and Gulmarg 139 mm. in past two days. Roads got damaged bridges washed away, villages got flooded in Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Ganderbal, Baramulla. National Highway closed. Educational institutions closed. Marriage invitations cancelled. CM reviews situation.
People helpless, Government sleepless. Doodganga bunds breached. Bone & Joint Hospital and residential colonies inundated. Bund breaches not plugged at Rawalpora, Peerbagh, Natipora, Chanapora. (GK Sept. 5th.)
Telephones, Mobile phones, internet, Radio Kashmir, DD Kashir, electricity supply, water supply snapped. Press enclave submerged.
04. Flood fury, death toll 248. Twenty five bodies recovered from Srinagar. Doctors send alarm of epidemic. As floods recede, administration yet to come out of debris. Fear of dead bodies keeps people away from Jawahirnagar, locals complain of tardy dewatering. GK resumes publication after ten days.
05. Kashmir economy down by a trillion. Damage to infrastructure 100,000 cr. Houses either fully or partially damaged 300,000. Flood affected villages in Kashmir-1700, in Jammu 900. Roads damaged 12,553. Mobile and Internet not restored. Flooded Dal Lake tells its own tale of destruction, Lake dotted with ravaged houseboats, scary boat-wallas, reopening of civil secretariat proves damp squib. (GK Sept. 19th)
06. Toll mounts to 280. HC seeks Govt. response on ‘tardy’ relief measures. NGO’s, Bill Gates announce relief for J&K floods. (GK Sept. 20th)
07. Day 14- Civil lines still submerged. Lal Chowk once a buzzing market turns into ghost- street. Scourging floods spawn tales of youth valor. (GK Sept. 21st)
08. 13 patients lost their lives as Govt. abandoned SMHS Hospital. Deluge destroyed Radiology Deptt., Medical ICU, ENT, Ophthamological facilities, Diagnostic labs etc.
Day 15-Thousands still out of their homes. Kashmir confronted devastating deluge with unity, compassion- uninterrupted relief, rescuers poured in from untouched areas. (GK Sept.22nd)
09. Day 16- Srinagar areas remain inundated. Kashmir inc cries criminal negligence demands probe. Deepening of river bed saved Ganderbal. Down town brave hearted rescued 300 people from flooded Lal Ded Hospital. (GK Sept.23rd)
10. Day 17- crises mounts in flood hit Srinagar. People fume as dewatering goes on at sluggish pace. Dewatering process goes awry, thanks to official apathy. CM meets PM demands special rehab package. (GK Sept. 24th)
11. Now JK seeks outside help to pump out flood water. SC panel to ascertain situation. 9 brave hearts, 2 boats and one rescue mission. Pampore youth brave flood fury to save 2000 people in 3 days. Daharmuna swimmers saved 400 people in deluged Bemina. Volunteers executed 3-day operation with precision, rescued policemen, kids. (GK Sept.25th)
12. Prices of essentials sky rocket after floods. Govt. likely to submit loss memo to GOI by weekend. Water filters donated by Oxfam India struck in red-tape. Relief material unlikely to reach needy in view of hurdles created by J&K Govt. (GK Sept. 26th)
13. Devastating deluge- 12 lakh families hit in J&K. Kashmir boys extend helping hand from Bangalore to flood victims. (GK Sept. 28th)
14. Centre preparing comprehensive policy on Kashmir: Rajnath Singh. Pune’s offer to help clean Srinagar found no takers. We offered support, were told to wait: Commissioner. Flood ravages JK’s road infrastructure, Estimated damage Rs.1427 cr.
15. Kashmir Floods- a disaster of international magnitude. Govt. clueless how Srinagar sank. Babus surface to defend cornered Govt. J&K inadequately prepared for floods. Flood havoc –PIL seeks probe into official negligence.
16. Many more events got unnoticed or unreported in the media, a few instances are as:
i) Mr. Showkat a teacher in Fine Arts received an SMS at his home at Rainawari that flood waters in Jhelum have reached Rajbagh area. He rushed in a boat to save his wife and one month old son and his parents-in-law from Rajbagh locality. He rowed his boat over the bund along the current, boarded his family and others in the boat and rowed back now against the current, which was an uphill task for him. He saw three persons carried by the current near the bund and two persons drowned near the fountain outside Radio Kashmir building. Helplessly he could not save them. He saw a houseboat had been carried by the current upto TAO Café on the Residency road.
ii) Two officers of high profile along with their families were found rushing to airport in a motorboat, but got struck with an iron rod damaging the boat and were saved by a local of the area.
iii) A relative of ours under treatment was short of oxygen and was carried to SKIMS, thus his family escaped the wrath of floods, but he himself passed away, besides his house at Jawahirnagar crumbled down.
iv) Another relative on dialysis had to be lifted along with his family on a helicopter to carry him to Delhi for safety.
v) Another promising boy who had invested everything in his business and owned a shop at Sangarmal shopping complex lost everything. Like that there must be innumerable happenings that got unreported.
vi) A family in Bemina lost their earning hand a few months back in a slip in his house, survived by a handicapped boy of 14 years, two small daughters, old aged mother-in-law and the ill-fated wife. They resided in a single storeyed house that got submerged and they shifted to the roof slab. Somehow they were rescued and walked over a kilometer up to Iqbal memorial crossing. They were provided shelter in a nearby two storey house, water followed them there too. Somehow after a great struggle they could be rescued after five days.
Thus it is evident from above that both the public as well as Govt. were caught unawares in the flash floods who never expected such an unprecedented wrath of flood waters. But the people charged with the task of flood protection, establishment of round the clock control room, organizing of yearly flood rehearsals, ensuring of alternative wireless communications, engineering the preparedness of the disaster management, ensuring instant relief measures, etc. cannot be absolved of their responsibilities. In fact Govt. is supposed to foresee and plan ahead for the upcoming events.
However it is but natural for water to overflow its banks in the event of rainfall in its upper catchment and spill into flood plains which are basically its right of way. Extensive and often unplanned use of flood plains, disregarding the basic fact, that it is a part and parcel of the river, leads to flood damage. Thus the uncontrolled and indiscriminate development of flood plains due to pressure of population can be considered as one of the main factors responsible for the ever increasing flood damage reported from the different parts of the country in spite of the substantial investment in the flood-sector during the last six decades.
Due to financial constraints no flood control structure can be constructed to provide total or absolute protection against all conceivable magnitude of floods. Moreover not all “flood prone” areas are amenable to protection through conventional flood-control measures due to a variety of reasons. For details and subjects of Flood Management, Concept of Flood Plain Zoning, Broad Methodology, Attempts in the past, Flood forecasting, Flood warning and the Valley Scenario, Engineering preparedness for disaster mitigation etc. please consult my book “Environment in Jammu & Kashmir” published in 2013 by M/S Gulshan Books Srinagar.
Er. Ashraf Fazili (Retd. Chief Engineer)

2014- Major Flood in Kashmir after over half a century

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2014-  Major Flood in Kashmir after over half a century

In 1959 I, along with my six colleagues had to travel to Madras for joining our Degree engineering courses for which we were selected by Public Service Commission. The valley was passing through a major flood, due to several days of incessant rains, as at present and road communication to Jammu was cut off. We chose to fly, but the sky was so densely overcast with clouds that the Dakota plane could not take off for seven consecutive days and we used to report at the airport everyday and return disappointed, after having a lunch carried from our homes. It was on the eighth day that the pilot found some gap in the clouds and we had a bumpy flight and touched the Pathankot air port to have our usual lunch there carried by us. In the evening, when we boarded the jam packed train bound for Delhi, it was full of the tourists who had escaped from the valley after a long wait of so many days and were all averse to their visit to the valley, saying: “Kashmir Kala Pani Hai” naming Kashmir as Kala Pani, which was a name given to the notorious prison of Andaman islands established by Britishers for punishment to the freedom fighters of India. These tourists had sold all their belongings for their survival. On our return in 1963, we had to witness many more floods during our forty years service tenure till 2003, but it was never so worst as that of 1959. The flood duties would give us many sleepless nights, but we were told that a major flood visits the valley after almost every 50 years. However this year’s major flood marks 55th  year from that of the 1959 flood.

The history of floods in Kashmir valley is perhaps the oldest one. Recent discoveries of age old monuments have proven that before formation of Satisar Lake, Kashmir valley has been a valley inhabited by people. It began with the closing of mountainous gorge below Varmul, due to some catastrophe that the valley got flooded to form Satisar Lake. Later on with the puncturing of the outlet down below Varmul the receding of hundreds of feet deep  Satisar Lake, perhaps a hundred million years ago, people roaming on the mountain tops began to settle on the exposed lake bed. Floods continued to inundate the low lying areas frequently thereafter and the formation of Dal Lake is ascribed to flooding of Talni Marg during the reign of Raja Parvarsen in sixth century AD, who constructed an embankment from Dalgate to Rainawari (now a road) to block the drainage of the newly formed lake. In ninth century in the reign of king Awantiwarman, when the low lying areas of the valley were inundated due to blockade of river Jhelum down below Varmul, Er. Suya devised an ingenious method of removing the blockade by dropping gold coins into the river bed, which was got cleared by the local divers and subsequently releasing the dammed up waters on the upstream side with a gushing force to push down the rocks to allow the drainage of the flooded valley. Sir Walter Lawrence in his “Valley of Kashmir” gives us account of frequent floods in the Valley, touching the period of 19th century, when in absence of river embankments even Lal Chowk would get submerged. The tourists ke Younghusband liwould enter the first floor of Nedou’s Hotel by boat only, when the ground floor would remain submerged.

The second half of last century has testified concussion of low lying areas with residential colonies both authorized and unauthorized with the result that the new Master Plan of Srinagar city had to concede the abuse of the earlier one on account of the mushroom growth of housing colonies in flood basin areas of river Jhelum. Now even the low lying agriculture lands are getting urbanized despite existence of legislation against it. The threat of floods is looming large almost every year for which a separate Flood Control Department has been functioning to face any adverse situation. Besides we often hear the formation of disaster management committees and training for the volunteers but the affected people are full of complaints against the timely help from the administration.

In my book ‘Environment in Jammu & Kashmir’published M/S Gulshan Books in 2013, besides other topics on water management there is a topic on cost effective measures for flood management besides engineering disaster mitigation in which the subjects have been analysed with the expected unforeseen disasters due to climate changes.The write-ups still hold good for future planning and precautions.

Er. Ashraf Fazili (retd. Chief Engr)

THE BIRTH OF HIMALAYAS

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     THE BIRTH OF HIMALAYAS

He set on earth  mountains standing firm lest it should shake with you…… (Holy Quran Verse 10 Ayat 31)

—  Compared to older mountain ranges like the Aravallis in India and Applachian in USA, the Himalayas are known as Youngfold mountain, being the youngest range, with world’s tallest peak of 8,848m. These extend for 2,500 km in length & 50-100 km in width in a series of parallel ridges of folds.

—  About 250 million years ago, the earth’s land was a single super continent called Pangea, which was surrounded by a large ocean.Around 200 million years ago (known as the middle permean period) an extensive sea stretched along the longitudinal area presently occupied by the Himalayas. The sea was named The Tethys. Around this period the super continent began to  gradually split into different land masses & move apart in different directions.

—  Rivers from both the northern Eurasian land mass (Angara) & southern Indian land mass (Gondwana) deposited large amounts of sediments into the shallow sea that was the Tethys.

—  There were marine animals called ammonites living in the sea of the time. The present fossil finds on peaks, point to their coast dwellings.

—  The two land masses, the Eurasia and the Indian subcontinent moved closer and closer.

—  Indian plate-one of the fastest moving tectonic plate in the world- was moving north at the rate of about 16 cms/6.3 inches per year.

—  About 70 million years ago (upper cretaceous period) the initial mountain building process started, when the two land masses (or plates) began to collide with each other.

—   As a result the already shallow seabed rapidly folded & was raised into longitudinal ridges & valleys.

—  After about 65 million years ago (upper Eocene period) came the 2nd phase of mountain building.

—  The bed of Tethys started rising again.

—  The sea retreated and the sea bed was elevated into high mountain ranges.

—  Later about 25 million years (middle Miocene period) came another mountain building which led to the formation of low Shivalik ranges.

—  Next; the mountain building phases occurred as the Indian plate pushed against the Eurasian plate which led to the Himalayan ranges rising further.

—  The last major phase occurred 600,000 years ago.

—  Although the phase of major upheaval has passed, the Himalayas are still rising albeit at a much slower rate.

—  The Indian plate is continuously moving north at the rate of about 2 cms. every year, which raise Himalayas by 5mm per year=5km per million years (being world’s highest rate of uplift )

—  This means that  Himalayas are still  geographically active & structurally unstable.

—  Some of the greatest earthquakes have occurred in history due to tectonic forces released by the interaction of the two plates.

—  For this reason, earthquakes are a frequent occurrence in the entire Himalayan region.

—  There is a recent prediction of an imminent major earthquake in Hidukush mountains.

—  For this reason, earthquakes are a frequent occurrence in the entire Himalayan region.

—  There is a recent prediction of an imminent major earthquake in Hidukush mountains.

—  Area covered in North Western Himalayas: snow clad peaks, glaciers & dense forest cover  = 33 million ha=10% of the total geographical area of the country

—  Rural Population:  J&K 75.20 %, HP 90.20%, UK 74.30 %    against the national average of 72.20%

—  It is impossible to detect the movement of the plates and uplifting of the Himalayas by casual observation.

—  However Global Positioning System (GPS) has made it possible to measure even such a slow movement of plates.

—  The Alps in Europe is another example of a mountain chain that formed due to the collision of tectonic plates.

—     Praise be to Him who left His signs for us all around ………               

—  The Continents 180 million years agoThe continents 65 million years agoThe continents today

 

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 Tectonic plates of the world

 

                The world plate movement

International boundaries of Himalayas: Pakistan,Nepal, China & India

                         The Snow covered peaks of Himalayas.

Natural Resources of the North Western Himalayas-Threats, Evaluation and Conservation.

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National Seminar on Natural Resources of the North Western Himalayas- Threats, Evaluation and                  Conservation (March 26th-27th 2014 ) at Sri Pratap College Srinagar J&K State

            Natural Resources of the North Western Himalayas-Threats, Evaluation and Conservation.

                                                                  (A power point presentation)

                                                                                       By

                                                                Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili FIE

                                                                        (Retd. Chief Engineer)

 

                                                           A view of north western Himalayas

                                                                     Himalayan terrain

                                                                             Map of Himalayas

    

                                                                     TECTONIC PLATES OF EARTH

                 

                                                                Indian plate pushing Eurasian plate

INTRODUCTION

  •  About 40 million years ago Indian plate crashed into Eurasian plate, at the geographically breakneck speed of 4 inches per year to form Himalayas-
  • The collision created Himalayan mountains welded together by warped and shattered rock interlocking to form the highest chain on earth.

               States touched

  •  Area Covered

 North Western  Himalayas  comprise of three states viz. J&K, Himachal Pradesh (HP) & Uttrakhund (UK), covering an area of about 33 million hectares, forming about 10 % of the total geographical area of the country.

Map of Himalayas

HIMALAYAN TOPOGRAPHY

Location & Cover

  • The region occupies the strategic position in the northern boundary of the nation and touches international boundaries of Nepal , China & Pakistan.
  •  Most of the area is covered by snow-clad peaks, glaciers of higher Himalayas & dense forest covers of mid Himalayas.

 

Population

 

  •  The region comparatively shows  a thin and dispersed human population due to its physiographic conditions and poor infrastructure development.
  • The rural population  in HP, J&K and UK constitutes  90.20, 75.20 and 74.30 % respectively as compared to the national average of 72.20 %.

 

Livestock population

 

  • The livestock population in the region has increased substantially during last three decades and is 21.33 million against human population of 29.53 million (1: 1.38)

 The Dominant Sector

  • The agriculture including livestock continues to be the dominant sector despite the fact that the area is exposed to adverse and harsh geographical and agri-silviculture conditions.

The Climate

  • The Himalayas exhibit  great diversity in climate,physiography,  soil & vegetation between the outer and inner Himalayas, ethnicity, resource availability and agricultural practices controlled by altitude.
  • The region experiences coldest temperatures in the world during winter. Mostly the hill stations of the Western Himalayas like Srinagar, Pahalgam, Shimla, Manali (Kallu valley), Kangra, Dharamsala, Maclodganj, Chambra & some regions in UK like Kamaon, Garhwal experience monsoon showers.

Major natural resources

  • The major natural resources of Western Himalayas are  water, forests, floral and faunal biodiversity.
  •  Forests constitute the major share in the land use of the region covering more than 65 % of the total geographical area of the region.

 

Largest Concentration of Glaciers

 

  • The Himalayas have world’s  largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar regions in spite of being the youngest mountain ranges on the planet with substantial growth occurring in just last million years.

Snow peaked tops

 Mountain ranges

The mountain ranges in this region are usually 50-100 Km wide and 1000-5000m high. Dhandhar range in HP, Pir- Panjal in J&K and Mussorie in UK are some of the important hill ranges.

Soil loss

The estimated annual soil loss from north western Himalayas  is approximately 35 million tons, which is estimated to cost around US $ 32.20 million.

  Fodder need

  • Strategies by planting fodder trees or grass in the waste/degraded lands (representing 7.9, 9.8 & 11.5 % of the geographical area  in HP, J&K &UK respectively) is  needed for enhancing the fodder production.

Growing plants

  • Climate of the region is conducive for growth of a large variety of plants ranging from tropical to temperate due to different altitudinal ranges varying from 100m above msl to more than 4000 m amsl i.e. sub tropical to cold temperate alpine  zone.

Medicinal & Aromatic plants

  • The region is the natural abode of large number of medicinal and aromatic plants and the value of medicinal herbs from forests is enormous.

Hydrological Potential

  •   The hydrological potential of these states consists of vast & rich water resources as glaciers, rivers & lakes. The high altitude areas of lesser and greater Himalayas are covered with glaciers and snow fields & are the origin of a number of perennial  rivers, which heavily drain into Indus and Gangetic basins & form a most fertile Indo-gangetic region of the country, known as “food bowl of India”.

Hydro power potential (HP)

  • Catchment area & hydro power potential of different rivers in Himachal Pradesh:

 Major Basin Tributary- Area (sq,kms)-Hydropower pot.(MW)

  • (A)  Indus

    Chenab                         – 7,500               – 3,032

     Ravi                             – 5,451               – 2,159

     Beas                             – 20,402             – 4,604

     Sutlaj                           – 20,000              – 10,355

________________________________________

     Total                             – 53,353             – 20,150

(B) Ganga

     Yamuna                         – 2,320               – 592

__________________________________________

TotalA+B                          – 55,673             – 20,742

__________________________________________

  © Mini-Projects                                           –     750

____________________________________________

GT                                      – 55,673            – 21,492

 Hydro power in J&K

  • Potetial assessed by Dr. Ramshoo : 25,000 MW
  • Potemtial assessed by PDC           : 20,000 MW

  Chenab                  – 10,654 MW

  Jhelum                    – 3,141 MW

  Indus                       – 1599 MW

  Ravi                         –    417 MW

_________________________

Total                           – 15,811 MW

__________________________

Exploited                    -2327 MW

Lakes in J&K State

  • A unique culture emerged on the banks of lakes surrounded and protected by Himalayan mountains on all sides. In Srinagar in Dal Lake entire community living in boats depends on lake for subsistence. These hospitable people claim their decent from Prophet Noah. In Ladakh a small community of nomads still herds yaks along the shores of giant Pangong lake. In the northern part of the state in Baltistan, a series of high altitude lakes exists in the high mountain valleys above Skardu. J&K abounds with such natural treasures. Various lakes  of the State include : Dal  (8 x 6.4 km),Nigeen , Anchar (8×3 km), Manasbal (5x1km), Wullar (16×9.6km), Hokersar(5×1.5km), Konsarnag (5x3km), Gangabal,Sheshnag, Neelnag, Tarsar Marsar, Sherasar, Sukh & Dukh- the two frozen lakes at Harmukh.

Dal Lake Srinagar

A Houseboat in Dal Lake

Wullar Lake (the largest fresh water lake in South Asia)

Sheshnag Lake

Mansar Lake

Threats to Water bodies

  • With deforestation, increasing tourism & steady urban growth along the shores of some lakes and rivers, the centuries old balance between man and nature has been disrupted and desperately needs to be restricted.
  • Deforestation  and the consequent erosion of the top-soil is having a devastating effect on the rivers & lakes. The silt & the soil being washed off of the barren mountain sides is rapidly  transferring the Himalayan water ecosystem while hastening the shrinkage of large lakes

Dal Lake endangered

  • Runoff of chemical fertilizers from the vast drainage basins around the lake, sewage and other oxygen demanding wastes, which bring in 15 tons of phosphorous & 300 tons of nitrogen every year combine to place the lake’s internal life process under severe stress.
  • Oxygen levels fall, the fish die out & the lake loses its aesthetic appeal. Decaying organic matter produces disagreeable odors & unsightly green scum of algae and weed infested waterways.

KEWA report

  • Although Dal has not reached such an advanced level of eutrophication, the process has begun to set in. Tourism has added increased pressure on the delicate environment of the Dal, for instance the number of house boats around the Dal lake has grown to 1400 from 400 in 1975.
  •  If current trends continue, the experts opine that the Dal lake will be destroyed within 80 years-Brar- Numbal mini lake in the heart of the city is a living example of this.
  • The upcoming KEWA report concludes with a series of suggested solutions for safeguarding of J&K lakes & waterways including the possibility of eco-tourism & environmentally sound urban planning. It is hoped that this report will bring about awareness in the administration and among inhabitants of J&K with the hope that the threat to J&K lakes can be averted.

Lakes in HP

  • Water from Beas & Sutlej rivers has been stored in Poong Dam & Bhakra Govind Sagar reservoirs having capacity  of 7290 & 9621 million cubic meters resp. for irrigation & power generation. It is major source of irrigation to Punjab, Haryana & Rajasthan.

Hydropower/lakes in Utrakhund

  • Water from Beas & Sutlej rivers has been stored in Poong Dam & Bhakra Govind Sagar reservoirs having capacity  of 7290 & 9621 million cubic meters resp. for irrigation & power generation. It is major source of irrigation to Punjab, Haryana & Rajasthan.
  • The catchment area of Ganges in India is approx. 8,63,000 sq. kms., which covers 26,20 % of total geographical area of the country, particularly of northern states of India & is considered most fertile region of the world.

Soil Conservation & Ecosystem

  •  The growing stock of trees outside the forest land (ToF) under agro forestry or social forestry  has played a significant role  to enhance the GDP of the country from 1 to 1.70 %. However the tree cover in J&K received a great set back in last three decades. The tree cover increased significantly during last 3 decades when ICAR initiated  All India Research Project on Agroforestry (AKRP-AF) during 1982-83 & farmers were encouraged to grow fodder trees & enhance their income & to meet their domestic demand.

Other renewable resources

  • Amongst other renewable resources are deposits of Boron, lead, lithium, coal, chromium,  ores of iron, copper, tungsten, zinc and deposits of building materials like limestone, dolomite & marble

Cement Industries

  • These deposits occur across length and breadth of Himalayas cutting across international boundaries. Due to mineral deposits many cement industries have come up during last 3 decades.

Biodiversity

  • The Himalayas present a store house of biodiversity, where flora and fauna vary extensively with climate diversity from one region to the other and this biodiversity is used for developing new varieties / hybrids in agriculture and horticulture crops to enhance the productivity.

Intensive Agriculture

  • Intensive agriculture is practiced in Kangra, Kullu in HP & Kashmir valley in J&K and Doon valley in Babhar and Tarai region in UK. In these low hills, agriculture fields are terraced in some parts except plain areas and fruit plantations are raised along with several arable crops such as paddy, maize, pulses, wheat, oil seeds, potatoes and vegetables etc. Cultivation is practiced upto 2500 m elevation.

Floriculture

  • Floriculture is also fast emerging as an important cash generating activity of the production systems in certain areas. Fruit orchards of several species are found in the hills of HP, J&K and UK. Plantation on agriculture lands was not common in the past as enough forests were available in the vicinity.

Firewood

  • However after clearing the forests for plantation of fruit trees as orchards in the hills during last 4-5 decades has created acute shortage of firewood and fodder and has compelled the farmers  to grow trees on their farmlands as a part of their farming systems to meet their daily needs of fuel, fodder and timber

Indigenous Agro-forestry Systems

  •  Various indigenous agro forestry systems occur in different agro climatic zones of the region. A homestead (Kyaroo) is operational  farm unit in which a number of tree species for fodder, timber, and fuel wood are raised along with livestock, poultry and/or fish to satisfy the farmer’s  needs.

Kyaroo crops

  • In kyaroo multiple crops  are present in a multitier canopy configuration. The fodder trees & bamboo for both timber & fodder are managed in upper storey, whereas  middle storey is constituted of bushes like medicinal plants etc.

Plantation

  • The fruit trees like pear,plum, lemon & citrus etc. are grown  for domestic use. Wide variation in the intensity of  tree cropping is noticeable in different places.
  • Plantation  crop combination play a major role in national economics. The important plantation crop of the Himalayan region is tea.

 What Saints Visualised

  • Over 650 years back Shaikh-ul-Alam (RA) said:

 “Food is Subservient to Forests.”

              ان پوشہ تیلہ یلہ ون پوشہ

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY- 5th JUNE 2014 : RAISE YOUR VOICE NOT SEA LEVEL

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SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES (SIDS) & CLIMATE CHANGE
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The UN General Assembly declared 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). World Environment Day (WED) 2014 was celebrated under the theme of SIDS, with the goal of raising awareness of their unique development challenges and successes regarding a range of environmental problems, including climate change, waste management, unsustainable consumption, degradation of natural resources, and extreme natural disasters.
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Climate change is a major challenge for SIDs, as global warming is causing ocean level to rise. Due to their small size and isolation, SIDs are more vulnerable to natural & environmental disasters, climate change & sea level rise. However some of these islands have also been successful in overcoming their environmental problems. From Palau to Puerto Rico, the stories of resiliency and innovation abound. For instance, Tokelau recently began producing 100% of its energy from solar sources. In Fiji, lacking the resources to make new drainage systems and seawalls, local residents are restoring mangroves and coral reefs to help prevent flooding and erosion. These stories and solutions can be applied to environmental concerns all over the world. The problems that they face are: climate change, waste management, unsustainable consumption, degradation of natural resources, extreme natural disasters in most of over population and continuing industrialization.

The effect of climate change was witnessed by us too in J&K State, with an elongated winter this year with frequent rains and snowfall in hilly areas even in the month of May. This has adversely affected our agriculture, horticulture, floriculture causing late sowing of seeds/saplings, late pollination of fruit trees, late blooming of flowers like tulips etc. respectively. Even in the month of June we still feel comparatively lower temperatures in the mornings & evenings. Besides the other threats of pollution of our water bodies, air & noise pollution, inadequate solid & liquid waste management, forest denudation etc. persist despite Kashmir being branded as heaven on earth.
Stop killing our oceans:
In her book “The Sea Around us” Rachel Carson saw the oceans as one last haven safe for ever. How it could be otherwise, when the oceans are so vast that continents are mere islands in their midst, so deep that a Mount Everest could be lost beneath their surface? How does one pollute a volume of almost 320 million cubic miles? How poison an environment so rich that it harbors 200,000 species of life?
Even though the oceans blanket three fourths of earth, their productivity is limited mostly to the narrow bands of undersea land existing from coastlines which comprise the continental shelves. 80% of the world’s salt water – fish catches taken from these shallow coastal waters, which make up only a tiny fraction of the total sea. In addition almost 70% of all usable fish & shell fish spend a crucial part of their lives in the estuaries- the coastal bays, tidelands & river mouths that are 20 times more fertile than the open sea, seven times more fertile than a wheat field. Cut the chain of life in these areas, destroy the myriad bottom organisms, pollute the continental shelf waters & you will also eliminate the vital ocean fisheries.
Already pollution or overfishing & sometimes both have gouged fisheries around the world. Meanwhile in a headlong rush to create more land , vital coastal tidelands are being filled for highways, industry, bridges and water front homes. At the same time the remaining estuaries are fed billions of gallons of sewage & industrial waste every day. These poison fish choke our oyster & render the bays & tidelands unfit for anything.
Pressure also builds on the oceans beyond, for instance in 1968 some 48 million tons of solid wastes were carried out by barges and ships& dumped in ocean waters of the USA. These wastes included garbage, waste oil, dredging spoils, industrial acids, caustics, cleaners & sledges, airplane parts, junked automobiles & spoiled food. During the two papyrus boat trips across the Atlantic, author explorer Thor Heyerdahl sighted plastic bottles, squeeze tubes, oil & other trash that had somehow been swept by the currents to mid-ocean. On some days the crew hesitated to wash because of the amount of pollution. Ugly brown raw sewage is piped from Miami beach Florida that sprawls over blue green waves. Fishermen, divers & others report similar situations all along US coast lines & many other parts of the world.
Steps needed:
” Stop dumping of wastes in to the sea, the big & small lakes & coastal areas, our rivers & bays except for treated liquid wastes equal to natural quality of the ocean waters. Instead recycle wastes back in to economy.
” Set tough controls before undertaking new ocean activities such as buildings, off shore jet ports & drilling off shore oil wells in new areas.
” Halt the reckless dredging & filling of priceless tidelands & carving of ocean front in the name of progress.
With the present trend the marine biologists predict that it will put an end to significant life in the sea in 50 years or less. This would be a catastrophe posing grave consequences to a world dependent on these vital resources for food, raw materials, recreation & in the near future, probably living space.
The largest island in the world is Greenland. Australia is considered a continent because it has unique plant and animal life. Antarctica also is a continent – larger than Europe and Australia. Greenland, although quite big, shares the habitat features of Northern America.
The smallest island in the world – according to the Guinness Book of Records – is Bishop Rock. It lies at the most south-westerly part of the United Kingdom. It is one of 1040 islands around Britain and only has a lighthouse on it. In 1861, the British government set out the parameters for classifying an island. It was decided that if it was inhabited, the size was immaterial. However, if it was uninhabited, it had to be “the summer’s pasturage of at least one sheep” – which is about two acres.
A lot of standing room – not much else. This is Bishop Rock, the world’s smallest island.
Going by the above parameters, most of the 179 584 “islands” around Finland and the almost 200 000 around Canada would not match Indonesia as the country with the most islands. In fact, Indonesia consists only of islands – 13 667 of them, 6000 of which are inhabited.
The remotest uninhabited island is Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic. The remotest inhabited island in the world is Tristan da Cunha. It is in the South Atlantic, 2575 km (1600 miles) south of St Helena, which is an island a few hundred kilometres (miles) off the coast of South Africa. Tristan da Cunha has no TV but it has one radio station. The population totals 242 and they only have 7 surnames (last names) between them, so they are all related. Tristan da Cunha does have a capital, called Edinburgh of the South Seas.
The smallest independent island country is the Pacific island of Nauru. It measures 21,28 sq km (8.2 sq mi). (Only the Vatican City and Monaco are smaller countries.)
Of the 6 billion+ people in the world, one out of ten lives on an island (600 million). Which is not so hard to imagine when you consider that more than 240 million people live in Indonesia alone – and some 61 million live in Britain, the only island connected to a continent through the chunnel (tunnel under the sea).
Here I would like to reproduce the extracts of the report of Mr. Ronny Jumeau Seychelles Ambassador for Climate Change and SIDS issues on Expert Group Meeting on Oceans, Seas and Sustainable Development: Implementation and follow-up to Rio+20 at United Nations Headquarters 18-19 April 2013 and here I quote:
“While oceans play a key role in everyone’s lives, no one is more dependent on them than the small, vulnerable and isolated island developing states surrounded by the seas. Oceans are now firmly established on the global agenda after taking center stage at Rio+20 last year. However, the SIDS’ unique dependence on the marine environment means the oceans have commanded center stage in our development since humankind has been on the islands. We are the ocean people, so to speak: we live off and by the oceans and to varying degrees on and for them as well. The oceans define who we are and the coastal and marine environment is an integral part of our island lifestyle. Our islands may be small in land area, but we morph into large ocean states when our exclusive economic zones are factored in. Tuvalu’s EEZ for example, is 27,000 times the size of its land. The Republic of Kiribati, the largest small island developing state in terms of ocean territory, has the 13th largest exclusive economic zone on Earth. SIDS are the custodians of no fewer than 15, or 30 per cent, of the 50 largest EEZs.
Dependence on oceans
In the case of many islands, Seychelles, our no 1 pillar of the economy is marine-based tourism. It provides 26 per cent of GDP, 30 per cent of jobs and 70 per cent of foreign exchange earnings in a country where more than 80 per cent of what we consume is imported, mostly by sea. Fisheries, our second biggest industry, add another eight per cent to our GDP. Such a heavy dependence on oceans is repeated across the SIDS. Oceans are central to our sustainable development, to poverty reduction and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and to our post-2015 development agenda. And yet, despite our best efforts to help ourselves, the lack of technical, institutional, technological and financial support means we are still to benefit to the fullest from our marine resources. Where we do benefit, it is not necessarily in the most sustainable manner.
Rio+20 :
It is no surprise therefore, that the small island developing states formed the loudest cheering section when the oceans won big at Rio+20.There definitely needs to be an international instrument regulating the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. SIDS therefore welcome Rio+20’s call for a United Nations General Assembly decision to develop such an instrument under the Convention on the Law of the Sea by next year.
Marine Pollution
Nowhere are the effects of marine pollution more deeply felt and damaging than in the small island countries entirely surrounded by the ocean. This is especially so in SIDS like mine whose economies are heavily dependent on the state and indeed the attractiveness of our beaches, coastal waters, coral reefs and fisheries.
Sea Level Rise
The most serious long-term threat to SIDS is of course sea level rise which threatens to cover many of us with the oceans, thus turning the blue planet even bluerナthat is if we are not swept away first by coastal erosion which will be made worse by the slow collapse of dying reefs.
Ocean Acidification
Ocean acidification is the single greatest threat to coral reefs which provide SIDS with food and income. They also protect us from the ocean waves and tidal currents which, as extreme weather events such as storm surges and abnormally high tides intensify, threaten to sweep away some islands before they are covered by sea level rise.
Coral Reefs
Rio+20 drew attention to the important economic, social and environmental contribution of coral reefs, especially to islands and other coastal states, and the high vulnerability of coral reefs and mangroves to such impacts as climate change, ocean acidification, overfishing, destructive fishing practices and pollution, among others. Indeed, the growing pressures on coral reefs may cause them to be the first marine ecosystem to collapse.
Marine Protected Areas
SIDS thus see conservation measures such as marine protected areas not just as a way to protect our ocean biodiversity and resources, but also as a tool for sustainable development, because for us marine biodiversity has significant socio-economic and cultural value.
Fisheries
Finally on fisheries, I would like to return to the Rio+20 outcome document The Future We Want, specifically paragraph 168. In it we commit to intensify efforts and take measures to meet the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation’s 2015 target to maintain or restore stocks to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield in the shortest time feasible. Once again the effect of illegal, unreported and unregulated or IUU fishing is most felt in those countries that depend most heavily on fisheries like the small island developing states. We place strong emphasis on paragraph 174 of The Future We Want. This urges that by next year there be strategies to further help developing states, especially the least developed and SIDS, develop their national capacity to conserve, sustainably manage and realize the benefits of sustainable fisheries, including through improved market access for their fish products. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of this to small island developing states. In the Pacific
SIDS, for example, the tuna fishery alone contributes more than 10 per cent of GDP and in some islands more than 50 per cent of exports. It is estimated that fish contributes at least 50 per cent of total animal protein intake in some SIDS. There certainly is no lack of international instruments in fisheries: they cover straddling and highly migratory fish stocks, responsible fisheries and IUU fishing. What has been lacking is the political will to effectively implement and enforce them. As I showed in the examples I gave earlier, SIDS certainly do not lack political will or innovative thinking: what we lack is capacity – technical, institutional, technological and financial” -en quote.

The Street Dog Menace in Srinagar city

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It was during last seventies that the city people started to move towards the peripheries of Srinagar, which were mostly covered with paddy fields or orchards. Though a Master Plan was approved for the future growth of the city and zonal plans were also prepared for a few areas, yet it was not implemented for one reason or the other. It involved demarcation of properly planned internal road network with provision for services like drainage, sewerage, parks, schools, health centers, mosques, temples, play fields, recreation sites, graveyards, cremation sites etc. Perhaps the Govt. was short of funds for investment besides having lack of political will, the plans could not be implemented. Instead the local land brokers and property dealers emerged to sell the land in patches, leaving narrow unplanned lanes with no space to accommodate surface drains or garbage dumping sites. Those days there was a very thin population of dogs around, however the sound of jackals would resonate during night hours. With the increase in migrant human population from the city centre, the population of dogs increased abnormally as truckloads of surplus dogs would be brought from police/army/village habitations and unloaded in thinly dog-populated suburban areas, which have got multiplied substantially over the years and have became a cause of serious concern of local public, who fall victim to frequent dog bites. The incidents have increased recently as dogs find little to eat in absence of garbage dumps due to improved collection system of SMC. However in view of the legal protection of the street dogs, their population is on the rise along with their increased frequency of attacks on pedestrians. It has become impossible to walk during the night hours, as the local group of dogs seem to be on guard not to allow any intrusion in their territory. Even attending the prayers in mosques in the early mornings and late evenings has become risky. The proposal of sterilization of dogs by SMC too seems to have run in fiasco. Hospitals bear witness to the recently increased incidents of daily dog bites. In our area of Bachpora, Ilahibagh, recently a school going child, a female teacher and a beggar were bitten raising a strong public resentment. The authorities need to give serious thought to this vexing issue and come up with immediate solution. In my visit to gulf country, I  found there the total absence of the street dog along with that of the garbage dumping site or a beggar or even the frightening appearance of a police man on a road side.

Here I would like to reproduce the article on the harmful effect of dog bites that appeared in India today.

Rabies stalks India with its 30 million stray dogs

 

India’s cities and towns are home to about 30 million stray dogs.

In 2012, the WHO estimated that India accounts for 20,000 rabies cases each year, though the government and experts have disputed this figure.

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory body under the Environment and Forests Ministry, is struggling to rope in NGOs and animal welfare groups to implement the recently-approved National Rabies Control Pilot Project. But due to dearth of funds and outdated policies the government’s two-pronged programme to control their numbers through sterilisation and to prevent the spread of rabies has been hanging fire.

One major handicap is the Centre’s failure to revise the cost of sterilising dogs – the amount doled out to NGOs is the same as it was a decade ago and experts contend the funding is unrealistic.

The health ministry recently approved the implementation of the pilot project in Haryana for mass sterilisation and vaccination of street dogs. The plan is to implement the project in other states if it proves successful in Haryana. However, so far only two NGOs have responded to government tenders.

“We have been begging the Central government to provide us with funds for carrying out a dog census and massive vaccination and sterilisation drives but all we have is a small pilot project in Haryana,” said Dr R.M. Kharb, chairperson of AWBI.

“We had been seeking expressions of interest from NGOs and other animal welfare organisations (for the project in Haryana) since last year but we got only two responses after two deadlines for the open tenders passed,” he said.

Animal welfare experts said the cost of sterilising dogs had increased with time but the Centre is sticking to a decade-old estimate of Rs.445 per dog. At some places like Delhi, funding for sterilisation was hiked to Rs.770 per dog but even this is meagre, experts said.

Kharb said it was proving difficult to rope in NGOs to carry out surveys and sterilise dogs. Many NGOs working with the government withdrew because the basic cost of their work was not covered.

“We have been working for many years to curb the menace of street dogs and rabies. In a few states, animal husbandry departments cooperated with us. Sikkim will soon be the first state to become rabies-free while close control has been done in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan,” said Kharb.

According to several reliable estimates, the total number of street dogs in India is between 25 and 30 million. But the over 10-year-old scheme for dog sterilisation and vaccination has an annual budget of only Rs.3.5 crore.

“This is a huge challenge – controlling this large population with such a small budget. Moreover, rabies control is not only about sterilising and vaccinating dogs because not all dogs cause rabies. It takes a lot of effort to control the disease,” said Kharb.

“The dog has to be caught in a humane manner. The sterilisation surgery should be done by an expert because a wrong surgery can hurt the dog.”

There is no official Indian data on rabies deaths though the ongoing Million Death Study reported there were 12,700 symptomatically identifiable rabies deaths in the country in 2005.

 

The Dreaded Disease

What is rabies?

Rabies is a zoonotic disease (a disease that is transmitted to humans from animals) that is caused by a virus. The disease affects domestic and wild animals, and is spread to people through close contact with infectious material, usually saliva, via bites or scratches. Dogs are the source of the vast majority of human rabies deaths. The rabies virus is usually present in the saliva of the rabid animal. Once inside the body, the virus affects the central nervous system. It develops in two stages. The first stage lasts up to 10 days during which the patient will show symptoms like headache, fever, decreased appetite, vomiting and general malaise, along with pain, itching and tingling at the wound site. In stage two, the patient will have difficulty in swallowing, disorientation, paralysis, and coma. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), rabies continues to kill thousands of people in India each year, more than in any other country.

Treatment

If bitten by a dog, one should immediately and thoroughly wash the wound as soon as possible with soap and water for approximately five minutes. The first dose of rabies vaccine should be given as soon as possible after exposure.

Vaccine dose

One vaccine for prevention and five injections after exposure to the disease. One dose of human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG) and four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period.

Cost of rabies injection

Municipal hospitals in the national Capital charge Rs.100 for rabies vaccine. However, the treatment may range from Rs.1,000 to Rs.2,000 in private hospitals.

 Sonya Ghosh, founder of the Citizens for the Welfare and Protection of Animals says: “The government created a mess in controlling the dog menace in Delhi. There are 74 medical units for animals with the government that were handed over to the animal husbandry department but there are only 35 doctors. These units can easily sterilise at least 20 dogs a day but they are underutilised.”

 Meera Bhatia, a lawyer who represents NGO Common Cause says: “Cases of dog bites in India are increasing. The dogs should be kept away from streets because they stop people from going for walks. Government has largely failed in controlling the population of stray dogs because their sterilisation programme didn’t work. Dogs are still multiplying on the streets.”

Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili (Retd. Chief Engineer)

About some rare Books and Manuscripts

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About some rare books and manuscripts

It was a great experience to attend the seminar organized by The Anjuman-i-Himayatul Islam & Gulshan Books Publishers jointly on “The history of publishing books in Kashmir and the responsibility of media in the present scenario”; also suggestions were invited for “planning the publication of rare manuscripts that are falling victim to moths and are lying in different homes/ libraries” in the valley.

Since the topic was of my interest as with the same objective in mind, I have recently submitted to Allama Iqbal Library KU, about 300 printed books of past about two centuries, besides about 6800 pages of handwritten manuscripts in Arabic and Persian languages; out of which they selected only those that were in a complete form from start to end. These books had been published in Lahore, Luknow, Kanpur, Delhi, Deoband, Bombay and Allahabad etc., when there was no press here. These books included Tafsir-i-Husaini (the first ever Persian commentary on Holy Quran), Masnavi Moulana Rum, Asrar-i-Sura Fatiha-all of voluminous size; Shams-ut-Tawarikh, Hasn-i-Hasin (with translation), Bahr-ul-Irfan, Takshif-ul Hikmah, Ruqat-i-Alamgiri, Qisas-ul-Anbia Farsi, Mukhtasar Waqaya etc. Among handwritten manuscripts were some handwritten pamphlets of Mir Sayid Ali Hamadani(RA) dated 1136 AH,  Tajwid-ul-Qirat, Diwan-i-Faizi,  Persian travelogue of Central Asia –the author seems to be a contemporary of Hazrat Jami (RA) having common Murshid. There are some rare manuscripts worth conducting research like: (a) Description of the burial of Sayid Baqir at Thune village near Kangan in 655 AH, who had come from Iran along with 1200 Sayids; ie about 100 years earlier than the arrival of Hazrat Bulbul Shah (RA); (b) A page on the commentary of Sura Fatah with a pamphlet in Arabic language prohibiting smoking hand written by Sadr-ud-Din Mohammad Ibni Abil Safa AlHusaini in 691 AH-again about half a century earlier than arrival of Hazrat Bulbul Shah (RA); (c) Awrad of Hazrat Baha-ud-Din Zakaria Multani (RA) (d.666AH)-about 300 pages, (d) Qawaid-ul-Mashaikh written by Kh. Azam Dedamari (Historian)(d.1165 AH); (E) Shajra Mubaraka of Mohammad Murad Naqshbandi in five silsilas written by Kh. Azam Dedamari; (e) Shajra Mubaraka in five silsilas written by Shaikh Abdul Haq Muhaddis Dehlavi (d. 1052 AH)for his disciple Allama Haidar bin Feroz Kashmiri (d. 1057 AH). The library has taken up the digitization of these books under Central scheme and hope that these will get preserved for posterity as our heritage lies buried in such rare books/manuscripts lying in many homes for deterioration.

It is one of such manuscripts that I found getting moth eaten in the home of Jenab Mohammad Afzal Fazili of Gamroo village, from whom after great persuasion, I obtained it, got copied, translated from Persian verse to Urdu language and got published its first edition in 2007 under the title “Majmooa Maktoobat se mustafid kitabHamare Aslaf aur Mashaikh-i-Kashmir” with addition of Volume 1 describing the introduction of Islam and various Sufi orders in Kashmir and Vol. 3 describing the biographies of the saints mentioned in the book proper Vol 2, named Majmooa Masmooa authored by Pirzada Ghulam Rasool Shaiva (Zunimari) (d.1288 AH) -father of Pir Hasan Shah Fazili Khoihami (historian).The book found a great appreciation among the readers and researchers and on their persistence a second updated edition is under publication titled “Salikin-i-Kashmir” all in one volume, with M/s Gulshan Books and shall be available shortly. Besides, its English translation is also in process.

In short what is needed is, as rightly said by Mr Fida Hasnain in the seminar that there is plenty of material available in our Archives Deptt and University Libraries for conducting research. We need to get preserved whatever written material of the past is lying in various homes. Besides we need to develop patience to hear others point of view/ criticism, which is lacking as stated by Justice Kirmani.  However despite all tall claims, there appears to be a conflict between our word and action, which is the main cause of our present scenario.