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Detention basins

Detention basins (or absorption basins or retarding basins) are low lying areas adjacent to riversstreamslakes to protect against flooding. These basins are also called "dry ponds", "holding ponds" or "dry detention basins" if no permanent pool of water exists. Detention ponds that are designed to permanently retain some volume of water at all times are called retention basins. They play a very vital role in the overall hydrology of a river.

Observations on the detention/absorption basins in the Srinagar Master Plan - 2035 (& recommendations of the I&FC department of Kashmir in it)

  • “no development/construction activity be permitted along the NH Bypass from Pantha Chowk to Nowgam which forms a part of flood absorption basin”..... (Preface (iii))

  • The September, 2014 flood has become a watershed for the future ‘planning and development’ of the Valley. Out of the total area of 766 sq. km, almost 34% of the planning area (262 sq. km.) was under floods in 2014. As per the details of the areas/villages falling under different categories of flood zonation provided by I&FCD, 125 sq. km fall under undevelopable areas whereas about 136.50 sq. km are vulnerable to floods.... (Page 27).

  • Wetlands especially in the south, southwest, west and northwest have been acting as flood retention basins protecting the city in times of floods. These flood plains including the wetlands have been urbanized in the aftermath of the Master Plan 1971-91, making city more vulnerable to natural disasters..... (Page 27).

  • There is no sustainable solution to the unabated expansion of city into low lying areas and flood absorption basin except for doing a course correction at some point of time. The master plan provides that opportunity for the city and draws the broad contours of its future development..... (Page 28).

  • Flood Absorption Basin [FAB] along the N/H Bypass to be developed as Biodiversity Park or Willow Forest (commonly called Veriwaar) and an Urban Lake near Mehjoor Nagar. Rest of the area from Kakpora to Padshahi Bagh/Mehjoor Nagar on the L/s of the river Jhelum be developed into an Urban Farm rather than existing paddy fields. The preservation of this belt is important for the safety of Srinagar city from floods. As such, it is strongly recommended to preserve this area from the onslaught of urban development including even earth filling. The preservation of this area on scientific lines will not only create a new tourist destination but will also increase the water holding capacity of the basin during floods. The existing TRC at Nowgam which normally should not have come up because of the vulnerability of the area is retained for provision of tourist accommodation..... (Page 103).

  • For the development of tier-2 corridor, the missing links in South, West and North directions from Pampore to Humhama, Sheikhpora to HMT via Sebdan, Harran and Soibough and Parimpora to Zadibal via Khushalsar will have to be developed not later than second phase of this master plan (2020-25). However; its alignment shall be finalised on ground immediately after the approval of this master plan. It is also proposed that the part of the road traversing through flood plains shall be constructed on piers to avoid any constriction to flood waters..... (Page 136).

  • The road has to be developed as an expressway for regional traffic and shall be designated as a new bye-pass to Srinagar city. The ORR is proposed to be signal free constructed for the design speed of 100 KPH. The section of the road traversing through flood plains shall be constructed on piers so that the natural flood basin is not affected.... (Page 137).

  • About 15-20 trains per day shall be allowed to operate between Srinagar, Anantnag and Baramulla ultimately putting up additional and separate tracks connecting other towns in all directions in a phased manner. The commuter rail routes given below are proposed to be developed in a way to not restrict the natural flood plain of any river. It is recommended that these tracks shall be constructed on piers in the flood prone areas.... (Page 156).

  • Preservation of natural flood absorption basin from Lethpur to Lasjan on the L/S of River Jhelum. The area often gets inundated during floods causing heavy losses to the locals. In the interest of city’s safety and a sustainable solution to mitigate the impact of recurrent floods, the Master Plan envisages the demarcation of Flood Zone from Lelhar to Lasjan on the L/s of River Jhelum on the basis of 25 year flood plain and notify the area as Protected Natural Flood Absorption Basin to be used as city forest for enriching biodiversity and promoting tourism in the area. The time flood mitigation measures as proposed by the I&FCD Kashmir nclosed as Annexure C are put in place, the area can be considered for the development..... (Page 223).

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Role of the detention/absorption basins of River Jhelum

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