"The longer these houses remain submerged in water, the more these structures are vulnerable to collapse," Nasir Ahmad, a civil engineer by profession, told PTI. Nasir who lives in Jawahar Nagar area, comes every day to check the level of the water in his locality.
"Many old structures have already collapsed and many more will crumble in the coming days as the water level has not reduced by much over the past three days," he said.
According to a police officer, more than 100 houses have collapsed in Rajbagh, Gogjibagh and Jawahar Nagar areas alone while many structures have suffered substantial damage due to the floods which hit these localities in the wee hours of September 7.
Nasir said most of the houses in Jawahar Nagar area were constructed in late 1960s and early '70s. "Those days, houses were constructed in brick and mud, instead of concrete. It makes these houses vulnerable," he added.
He said authorities need to install more motors for speedy dewatering as the present pace of four to five inches decrease in water level will not do much good. Authorities have deployed 30 big and small water pumps in Jawahar Nagar and Rajbagh areas. But at the present pace it would take at least two weeks to completely dewater Kashmir's most affluent - now worst-hit - residential localities.
"We have a capacity of flushing out 20,000 litres of water per minute and our two pumps have been functioning round the clock for last 48 hours now," Deputy Superintending Engineer of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) D Anjaneyulu said.
Anjaneyulu said more heavy duty water pumps were expected to arrive from Baroda in Gujarat to augment the ongoing efforts. "So far, the water level has decreased by nearly 15 inches in the 48 hours of operation," he added.
Asked about the estimated time for dewatering, Anjaneyulu said it will be difficult to set a time frame as he was not aware how much area is flooded under water. "We will leave this place only after dewatering this area," the official, who hails from Hyderabad, said.