After passing 16 months since the ferocious floods hit Kashmir Valley, the department is now all set to go for much-awaited dredging of river Jehlum. The department has handed over the project to a Kolkata based firm who are supposed to start the dredging process in coming 15 days, officials told KNS. Speaking with KNS, Chief Engineer, Irrigation Flood and Control (IF&C), Javaid Jaffar told KNS that the Kolkata based form will start the work in coming days. “We invited tenders on national scale in which Kolkata based firm won the bid and are going to start the process in 15 days,” Jaffar said. He said that it’s the project of 399 rupees while 70 per cent of the total funds being supported by the union government. “Dredging in Srinagar stretch will be undertaken in a year and in north Kashmir in 22 monthsrespectively,” he told KNS. He said that out of the contract amount, the company will have to pay rupees 12 crore to the State Government as revenue generated from sale of dredged-out river bed material, adding, “Dredging project is part of the comprehensive flood management plan.” Pertinently, the devastating floods in September, 2014 caused extensive siltation in river Jhelum. Due to the deluge, tons of silt from mountainous catchments settled in the river, thus drastically affecting its carrying capacity and hydrological system. The delay by the State Government to undertake dredging of river Jhelum has been evoking resentment among stakeholders and even prompted environmentalists to sound caution about imminent flood threat to the summer capital in coming years.
2015 Kashmir Despatch