Assessing the influence of watershed characteristics on the flood vulnerability of Jhelum Basin in Kashmir Himalaya by Gowhar et al., 2015
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© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.This comment raises a number of scientific questions about the research work conducted by Gowhar et al. 2015. It shows that the structural, topographic, and geomorphic architecture of the Kashmir Basin is mainly shaped by an active interaction between the tectonics and climate. This is backed by the historical and geological records, which clearly demonstrate that climate change and unplanned urbanization are NOT the major reasons for flooding. The historical data show that the devastating floods occurred in Jammu and Kashmir before the climate change science came into existence, and this strongly brings into question the climate argument made by the authors and equally challenges the urbanization argument because the population of Kashmir was much less in the past and has increased in the last 24 years, plus urbanization is a recent phenomenon in the history of Kashmir. Therefore, it is an over-exaggeration to claim that unplanned urbanization is the single-most important factor causing the flooding in Jhelum in 2014. It equally questions the proposed construction of an alternate flood channel for the Jhelum River because the geological and tectonic history has clearly shown that a number of destructive floods were caused by earthquakes, and significant drainage reversals have also been reported in the KB. Therefore, it is important to reassess the various causes of flooding and offer a balanced alternative.
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