Despite 2014 flood, dredging of Jhelum behind target

March 4: Despite facing devastating floods in 2014, the department of Irrigation and Flood control has not been able to meet the target laid down by the Jammu and Kashmir government for dredging of river Jhelum from Anantnag to Baramulla.

Governor NN Vohra, who reviewed the progress of ongoing dredging of river Jhelum, was informed that the work is behind target at all the places, an official spokesman said.

Under the Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Programme 2015, ‘Priority Works- Comprehensive Plan for Flood Management Works on Jhelum-Phase-I’ costing Rs 399.29 crore for implementing ‘Comprehensive Plan for Flood Management Works on Jhelum’ has recently been sanctioned by the Centre, the spokesman said.

He said that the Governor noted that as of February 29, against targets till end March 2016, the cumulative dredging work done in the Jhelum river stretch from Khannabal Bridge to Halamulla was 2,86,123 cubic meter against a target of 3,59,700 cubic meter; for Sethar to Sempora stretch of the river, it was 1,28,419 cubic meter against a target of 1,79,166 cubic meter; for Lasjan to Shalteng stretch, it was 92,380cubic meter against a target of 1,04000 cubic meter.

For Shalteng to Panzinara stretch of the river it was 34,580 cubic meter as against a target of 60,500 cubic meter; for Panzinara to Banyari stretch of the river it was 1,65,950 cubic meter as against a target 2,72,500 cubic meter.

Similarly, for the outfall channel at Baramulla from Pohru to Janbazpora, it was 32,090 cubic meters till February 2016 against a target of 38000 cubic meters.

On the flood spill channel from Padshahi Bagh to Wullar, the cumulative achievement was 1,02,050 cubic meter as against a target of 1,34,150 cubic meter.

A swollen Jhelum had breached its embankments, causing devastating floods. Moreover, the silt carried by the deluge chocked the river, reducing its carrying capacity to a large extent.

The Governor was informed that the assembly of main dredger at Shivpora is expected to be completed by today, March 3, following which the trial run for the process will begin and the construction of two dykes, on the right side of river Jhelum near Shivpora, is almost completed.

Dredging has been completed to the extent of 20,230 cubic meter against target of 20,250 cubic meter envisaged to be done in the Flood Spill Channel from Padshahibagh to Wullar.

The spokesperson said that the Governor, has also approached Uma Bharti, Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, and requested urgent release of funds for the dredging of the river Jhelum and its outflow channels.

He has requested the Minister’s personal intervention in this matter so that this time bound project can be completed before the coming monsoon season.

The 2014 floods left nearly 300 people dead and caused massive destruction in Kashmir.

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