Shopkeepers of markets such as Jehangir Chowk, Lambert Lane, Goni Khan, Maisuma as precautionary measures have shifted their stocks to upper storeys of the buildings.

With flood threat looming large due to high water level in river Jhelum, panic-stricken businessmen and shopkeepers in city-centre areas are shifting their merchandises to safer places.
Amid flood threat, shopkeepers in and around Lal Chowk since Thursday evening and Friday have been shifting their merchandise sand stocks to safer places, fearing repetition of devastating 2014-like floods.
“There is a panic everywhere due to rising water level in Jhelum. We cannot rely upon government as all know what happened in 2014 where authorities were caught napping,” said Mushtaq Ahmad, a shopkeeper at Hari Singh High Street market.
He said that he has shifted all his merchandise in the second storey of the building due to prevailing situation.
Shopkeepers of markets such as Jehangir Chowk, Lambert Lane, Goni Khan, Maisuma as precautionary measures have shifted their stocks to upper storeys of the buildings.
“I have a small merchandise shop without insurance, so I along with my children shifted half of my merchandise to home and kept rest in upper shelves of my shop,” said Zaffar Ahmad, a garment store owner at Goni Khan market.
The business community during 2014 floods suffered huge losses which left them worried after water level in Jhelum rose significantly following rains.
“We are yet to recuperate from losses suffered during 2014 floods and now this flood threat is agonizing for us,” said chief spokesperson of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Farhan Kitab.
He said “as a result shopkeepers are shifting their merchandises to safer places in order to minimize losses in case of any eventuality.”
Meanwhile, the business community has lambasted the PDP-BJP government over its “insensitivity” to carry dredging of Jhelum.
“Unfortunately, since 2014 government has not learnt its lesson,” said President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mushtaq Ahmad Wani.
He said that snail’s pace of government’s work on dredging is hitting people now.
“Be it businessmen or common people, two days rain has given sleepless nights to all and sundry in Kashmir. It is because of the fact that carrying capacity of river Jhelum has decreased in absence of dredging,” he said.
Chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yaseen Khan criticized the government’s approach on undertaking dredging of Jhelum. “When this incumbent government took over, we urged them to prioritize Jhelum dredging but unfortunately nobody paid heeds to our requests as a result we are witnessing that if it rains for more than two days there is imminent flood threats,” he said.

Kashmir STORE