Srinagar, Dec 24: Jammu and Kashmir government has initiated action for seeking union cabinet’s approval for Rs 1623 crore plan for Comprehensive Flood Management of River Jhelum and its tributaries – phase 2 which is likely to get centre’s nod within two months, officials informed.
As per official documents accessed by Greater Kashmir, technical sanction for the plan was approved in December 2019 and investment clearance accorded to the project at Rs.1623.43 crore on February 19, 2020 but conveyed on July 30, 2020.
"Budget proposal/UC for Rs 684.61 crore including Rs 227.44 crore UT share has been submitted to the Department of Water Resources (DoWR, RD & GR) during 2021-22 for release of funds," reads an official document of J&K government.
It states that "The Department of WR, RD & GR may consider Phase-II (Part-A) as an ongoing project instead of new because it forms part of the overall project of the PM’s Development Package (PMDP) approved during 2015-16”.
"However, the DoWR, RD & GR, Ministry of Jal Shakti has informed that the scheme has been included under CSSFMBAP 2021-26. Action for seeking Cabinet Approval has been initiated. Approval is expected approximately after two months," it reads.
After the devastating floods of 2014, the government of India sanctioned ‘Plan for Comprehensive Flood management of River Jhelum and its tributaries. The project was funded under the Prime Minister’s Development Package. The flood management plan of River Jhelum was divided into two phases.
As per the official document, Rs 399 crore was sanctioned for the first phase, of which Rs 323 crore has been released. “Phase-1 is substantially completed, discharge carrying capacity increased at Sangam from 31,800 cusecs to 41,000 cusecs. Two bridges to be completed by October 2021.”
After substantially completing the first phase, the government of J&K has sought funds for the second phase.
The project was proposed after floods wreaked havoc in Jammu & Kashmir in 2014. The devastating deluge devoured 300 lives and damaged property worth thousands of crore of rupees in the state.
A committee set up by the Government of India to go into the cause of catastrophic floods suggested several measures to prevent such calamities in future.
In its report, the panel recommended several long-term measures including additional supplementary flood spill channel, creation of storage facilities on tributaries of Jhelum, flood plain zoning, and enhancing the capacity of Wular Lake.
“Small storages on various tributaries of Jhelum for general, power, and/or flood purposes as per provisions of Indus Water Treaty may be planned and created. This will help in moderating the floods and also enable in reducing the sediment load of River Jhelum,” the panel recommended.
In 2020, J&K administration accorded approval in principle to the Comprehensive Plan for Flood Management Works on Jhelum-II at a cost of Rs 5411.54 crore.
The project is proposed to be implemented part-wise with Part A amounting to Rs 1,684.60 crore approved under Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP) and Part B for which source of funding is to be identified. The project has been formulated to achieve the short-term goal of mitigating the flood threat at Sangam in south Kashmir's Anantnag district.
After the devastating floods of September 2014, and on the recommendations of a high-level committee, constituted by the Centre, a multi-pronged strategy was adopted for flood mitigation in Kashmir Valley. Accordingly, to enhance the carrying capacity of the river Jhelum from the then 31000 cusecs to 60000 cusecs, the action was envisaged in two phases under PMDP.