Nearly 90 breaches caused by the September-2014 floods in Jehlum River have been plugged by the Irrigation and Flood Control Department. This was revealed during a review meeting held by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon Wednesday with the Chief Engineer of Irrigation and Flood Control, Javed Jaffar and officers of concerned departments. The meeting was called to identify bottlenecks in the process of restoration of Jhelum and flood channel as well as strengthening and beautifying the river banks. Giving details about the process of dredging in Jhelum, the I&FC department officials said the project has been awarded to a Kolkata-based firm and the work is going on at war-footing basis. Dr Samoon was informed that around 5.86 lakh cubic metres have been excavated against the target of 8 lakh cubic metres. The project envisages dredging of 7 lakh cubic metres in Srinagar stretch of Jhelum to be completed in 12 months while 9 lakh cubic metres will be excavated from Baramulla stretch in 20 months. “The target of about 5.86 lakh out of the proposed 16 lakh has been achieved in the last four months. The work is going on in full swing and it will not be impacted in any way due to increase in water level during summers,” Chief Engineer (I&FC) said. According to officials, the government will spent Rs 399 crores for two years on the restoration of Jhelum with Rs 140 crore set aside for land/structure acquisition, Rs 40 crores for building two bridges, Rs 35 crore for dredging and the rest will be spent on other works. The state share in the allocation is Rs 120 crore. It was also revealed during the meeting that the Centre’s share in the Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program 2015, “Comprehensive Plan for Flood Management Works on Jhelum-Phase-I” has not been released so far. Dr Samoon was informed that the I&FC department is preparing a detailed project report which envisages building storage dams on the tributaries of the river which will be used in times of emergency to divert the water flowing into the river. The Divisional Commissioner noted that the cumulative dredging in the Jhelum river stretch from Khannabal Bridge to Halamulla has reached 2,01,700 cum till January 2016 against the target of 2,89,700 cum to be completed till February 2016. “Similarly, for Sethar to Sempora stretch of the river it was 1,12,500 cum till January 2016 against a target of 1,55,000 cum till February 2016; for Lasjan to Shalteng stretch, it was 66150 cum against a target of 95,000 cum; for Shalteng to Panzinara stretch, it was 23,680 cum as against a target of 52,500 cum; for Panzinara to Banyari stretch, it was 129,200 cum till January 2016 as against a target 2,22,500 cum till February, 2016, according to I&FC officials. “Similarly, for the outfall channel at Baramulla from Pohru to Janbazpora it was 25590 cum till January 2016 against a target of 33,000 cum till February 2016. On the flood spill channel from Padshahi Bagh to Wullar cumulative achievement was 81820 cum till January 2016 as against a target of 1,14,450 cum to be completed till February 2016,” the I&FC officials said. As per the Secretary I&FC’s report, as on January 29, 2016 the status of work done in the various stretches in the month of January, 2016 is: 72,000 cum against target of total 80,000 cum in Khannabal Bridge to Halamulla stretch; 25,000 cum against target of 37,500 cum in Sethar to Sempora stretch; 30,650 cum against target of 30,500 cum in Lasjan to Shalteng stretch; 12,180 cum against target of 18,000 cum from Shalteng to Panzinara stretch; 56,700 cum against target of 60,000 cum from Panzinara to Banyari stretch; and 5,590 cum against target of 6000 cum from Pohru to Janbazpora stretch. Dredging has been completed to the extent of 25,720 cum against target of 38,100 cum envisaged to be done in the Flood Spill Channel from Padshahibagh to Wullar.
2015 Kashmir Despatch