With no rains in October so far, and limited rainfall in September, more than half a million people in three districts of Kashmir have been affected. “At many places near our water supply schemes, the Jhelum’s riverbed is exposed. We had to press machines into service to make diversion channels towards our off-take points,” said Mohammad Shafi Sofi who heads one of the major water supply divisions (Sopore) in north Kashmir. Sofi has never seen the level of water in the Jhelum river as low as it has been in the last few weeks in his 34 years of service.

Over the last day reports have come of dying fish being stranded on the banks of the Jhelum, sparking panic among locals. The deputy divisional commissioner of Kashmir, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah has circulated a message asking the public not to panic, in his message he wrote, “We have taken water samples as well as samples of fish. Most of the fish washed up ashore are not dead suggesting that the oxygen content of the river water is low.” Read More

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