SRINAGAR, SEPTEMBER 22: Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Mir Javad Jaffar today said that as many as 1.5 lakh cubic metres of bad material has been extracted so far from River Jhelum through dredging. He said two departmental and three private dredgers have been deployed at various places for the purpose.
Mr Jaffar said two departmental dredgers have been deployed at Baramulla since 2012 to extracted bad material. He said two more stretches in Srinagar and Baramulla and flood spill channel have been allotted for dredging to a Kolkata based Company ‘Reach Dredging Ltd’ since March this year. He said that 7 lakh cubic metres and 9.15 lakh cubic metres of bad material has been targeted for dredging out in Srinagar and Baramulla stretches by the end of March 2017 against which 1.5 lakh cubic metres of bad material has been dredged out so far.
He said that the dredging of River Jhelum was awarded under the project “Comprehensive Flood Management Programme” in March 2016 to the Kolkata based Company. He said the executing agency has engaged 3 dredgers at different places to extract silt from river and the work is expected to be completed within the stipulated time frame of March 2017. He said the Company has also brought two more dredgers for the purpose.
He said one dredger is working in Shivpora Sonawar area of Srinagar and hoped that it would dredge-out Rajbagh stretch very soon.
It is pertinent to mention here that the ‘Flood Management Programme’ would be completed in two phases. The cost of Phase-I is Rs 399 crore and Phase-II Rs 1178 crore. Under Comprehensive Flood Management of River Jhelum Phase-I, Rs 44.33 crore have been expended up to August this year, besides an amount of Rs 8.63 crore as matching State Share. The project was taken up with the assistance of Centre on 70:30 basis. The total cost of the project is Rs 1577 crore. The Union Government would provide 70 per cent funds while as 30 per cent funds would be arranged by the State Government.
Under Phase-I, Rs 140 crore have been earmarked for compensation of 1759 kanals of land and structures to be acquired for expansion of the existing flood channel, Rs 40 crore for construction of two bridges at Shariefabad and Naidkhai and the rest of the funds would be spent on dredging and related works. The aim of the project is to open the flood spill channels of Jhelum. He said that PNC of 1900 kanals of land has been completed against which possession of 68 kanals of land has been taken over for which an amount of Rs 6 crore has been paid as compensation. He said that documents of 242 kanals of land have been completed and to be taken over soon.
Mr. Jaffar said that the dredging of Jhelum would increase the carrying capacity of the river and its flood spill channels by 10000 cusecs which would go a long way in preventing flood threat in future in Valley. At present, the carrying capacity of Jhelum and its spill channels is 27000 cusecs and 8000 cusecs and after the dredging of River Jhelum and its spill channels it would increase to 45000 cusecs.
The Chief Engineer said that construction of two bridges has been entrusted to J&K Project Construction Corporation for which it has floated the tenders. He said the department has also got clearance from Supreme Court to construct the spill channel through Hokersar wetland.
Referring to schemes taken up under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), the Chief Engineer said that two Major and Medium Irrigation Schemes namely Light Irrigation Scheme Tral and Light Irrigation Scheme Rajpora have been prioritized for which funds to the tune of Rs 51.86 crore have been approved under Capex Budget 2016-17. He said that the Central Government is regularly monitoring the pace of work on projects. He said cost of the projects is Rs 140 crore, of which an amount Rs 57 lakh stands released under regular schemes Under Minor Irrigation Schemes. He said the projects consist of three lift stations of which two have been completed and work on the third is going-on and is expected to be completed very soon. He said that as many as 175 schemes worth Rs. 8.60 crore have been taken up under AIBP in Valley, of which 60 schemes have been targeted for completion during this fiscal. An amount of Rs. 2.20 crore stands expended on on-going schemes so far under AIBP, he maintained.
It is worthwhile to mention here that the department has also submitted a proposal to Union Government under Flood Management programme to create an alternate flood channel from South Kashmir to Wullar Lake in North Kashmir via Srinagar city.