Deadline for Jhelum dredging extended

BK Correspondent/Srinagar
July 14, 2017 0 Comments CITY 161 Views

The deadline for the dredging of river jehlum has been extended which officials said will consume at least a year.
Though the Kolkata-based firm Reach Dredging Private Limited’s failure to dredge the river by April 2017, officials said that dredging of the Jhelum in Phase I of the flood mitigation plan would be completed by March 2018.
The dredging firm, which I&FC was earlier mulling to blacklist for its failure in duties, would be given “another chance”, the official asserted.
“We decided against that, because if we do that at this point of time, we will have to tender out the project to another firm, which will take at least a year. We cannot afford that. We are going ahead with the firm. We have told them to complete the process within the set time period. The firm is in operation at Panzinara and Baramulla reach currently,” he said.
Pertinently, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court recently directed I&FC to complete dredging of the Jhelum by September 2017.
The officials, however, said he submitted before the HC that the dredging of the river would be completed by the department by the next set deadline.
Citing encroachments and land acquisition for the delay in the dredging process, he said the subsequent phases of flood mitigation would be taken up by I&FC later on.
“The subsequent phases are long-term projects. It includes alternate flood spill channel and enhancing the carrying capacity in the Jhelum tributaries through effective dredging. We have already sent mathematical data to Pune in this regard. We will also submit a Detailed Project Report to the government later,” he said.
“We have cut 44,000 trees, we were also preoccupied with land compensation, and then only could we start the dredging process.”
Out of the total 11,00,000 cubic meters of silt in the Jhelum, the I&FC has dredged out 1,10,000 cubic metres, Dhar claimed.
The Kolkata-based firm was supposed to dredge over 24-km river stretch from Pantha Chowk to Panzinara till January 2017.
Kashmir has been on the brink of floods six times since the 2014 deluge.
On April 6, I&FC declared floods in Srinagar after three days of rainfall had the Jhelum filled almost up to the brim.

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