Over a year has passed since the devastating floods hit the state, the government is yet to take up the permanent restoration of drainage system and has been waiting for the World Bank financial assistance. The drainage system in Valley especially in Srinagar city was badly hit by the last year September floods. However, despite passing over a year, authorities have failed to start the permanent restoration of drainage system on its own funding and have been waiting for the World Bank assistance. “We have sought around Rs 150 crore from the World Bank for permanent restoration of drainage system in Srinagar. We will start the work once the World Bank releases funds,” a senior official of Housing and Urban Development Department told KNS. The official said the poor drainage system was responsible for flood like situation in April this year. “The improvisation of drainage system should have been the top priority of the government but the authorities are waiting for the World Bank assistance,” he said. The poor drainage system has always been exposed during the rains when roads remain inundated under water for weeks and there seems no mechanism how to drain out the water from the streets and residential houses in Srinagar city. The September floods according to officials further worsened the drainage system of the state. “No new drainage works have been started in aftermath of the floods. Even by the partial downpour, the Srinagar city witnesses water logging and many parts remain inundate in water for days,” the official said. The Srinagar city has poor drainage system which was a decade ago in place despite spending of crores of rupees over the years. The poor drainage system according to officials poses a serious threat of flood in Kashmir even during the average downpour. It has been learnt that around 500 drainage schemes were started over the years but less than 200 have been completed while work on other schemes have been stopped due to non-releasing of funds. “The Roads and Buildings department has been constructing roads in various areas without drainage system. “The restoration of drainage system and road macadamization should have been done simultaneously. But government seems only interesting with road macadamization and ignoring the drainage part,” a senior official of SMC said. Meanwhile one of the top officials Housing and Urban Development department said the government has made a comprehensive master plan which will overcome drainage and sewage problems in the state. “We are working on it and very soon you will see a lot of improvisation in drainage system not only in capital cities but across the state,” the official said and added that for that we have sought financial assistance from the central government and the World Bank.
2015 Kashmir Despatch