SRINAGAR, Feb 16: Governor N.N. Vohra today directed the Irrigation & Flood Control Department to ensure that the ongoing dredging works on the river Jhelum are carried out speedily and completed well in time. He issued these directions after spot inspection of the ongoing work at Noorbagh, immediately after his arrival at Srinagar early this morning. The Governor was accompanied by Mr. Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Advisor to the Governor, Mr. B.R Sharma, Chief Secretary, Mr. B.B. Vyas, Financial Commissioner Planning and Development, Mr. P.K Tripathi, Principal Secretary to the Governor, Mr. R.K Goyal, Principal Secretary Home, Mr. Rohit Kansal, Commissioner I&FC, Mr. Asgar Hassan Samoon, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir during the inspection visit.
The Governor was informed by the Chief Engineer (I&FC) that the cumulative dredging work done in the Jhelum river till date was to the tune of 6,10,000 cum. Similarly, dredging has been completed to the tune of 92,000 cum in the Flood Spill Channel. He also informed that the cumulative target set by the department was more than 8,00,000 cum to be achieved by the end of March 2016. This is over and above the dredging works which would be executed through the Kolkata based Reach Dredgers which has been tasked with mechanical dredging of 7,00,000 cum in the Srinagar stretch and 9,15,000 cum in Baramulla stretch. The Chief Engineer explained that these works would continue round the year irrespective of the changes in water levels in the river. He elaborated that identification of sites and construction of dykes as well as mobilization of Dredgers has already been initiated at the sites of Bell mouth of Flood Spill Channel at Outfall Channel Baramulla. The Governor expressed regret and serious concern over the unexplainable delay in the commencement of mechanical dredging work and directed that the actual dredging works on these two sites must now be started without any further delay.
It may be recalled that under the Prime Minister’s Rehabilation and Reconstruction Programme 2015, the DPR for “Priority Works- Comprehensive Plan for Flood Management Works on Jhelum-Phase-1” costing Rs. 399.29 crore has been carved out of the main project for “Comprehensive Plan for Flood Management Works on Jhelum” costing Rs. 2083 crores. The main components of this project include re-sectioning and land acquisition to restore the width of the Flood Spill Channel, especially at Shariefabad and Naidkhai, strengthening of embankments at particularly vulnerable spots of river Jhelum and urgent dredging works in the river Jhelum and Flood spill Channel. The works inspected by the Governor today are part of the urgent dredging works initiated under this project.
The Governor reiterated his earlier direction, issued during a review meeting at Raj Bhawan on 2nd February, regarding time-bound completion of all emergent flood protection works in Mission mode by constituting a Group headed by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, to immediately deal with all matters connected with land acquisition, removal of encroachments etc. He also asked the Commissioner (I&FC) Rohit Kansal to personally monitor, every Saturday, the progress of dredging works and ensure resolution of all issues, if any, for time bound completion.
Later in the day, the Governor will be interacting with the trade, tourism and industry delegations to take stock of the problems being faced by the people. He will also be holding separate meetings with the Divisional level officers to review the action being taken to redress grievances of people besides reviewing the status of implementation of developmental projects. He will also hold a separate meeting to review law and order management issue with the top Civil, Police, Central Police, Army and Intelligence officers.
The Governor is accompanied by his two Advisors, Chief Secretary, Financial Commissioner (Planning and Development), DGP and Principal Secretary Home for the day long visit to Srinagar.