J&K Governor N N Vohra on Sunday directed the Chief Engineer of Irrigation & Flood Control Department and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to take up a cleanliness drive of river Jhelum and also called for quick dredging of the water body. During his tour of the Flood Spill Channel at Shivpora, the Governor directed officials to ensure that the ongoing dredging works are carried out speedily and completed well in time.
The Governor, who was informed that the mechanical dredging at the site would be dredging out a mass of 200-250 cubic metre per-hour, directed the Divisional Commissioner to urgently initiate a cleanliness and beautification drive along the river fronts on both sides.
The Governor was accompanied by his advisor, KhurshidGanai, Asgar Hassan Samoon, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr. Farooq Ahmad Lone and SSP Srinagar Amit Kumar.
The Governor was informed by Chief Engineer (I&FC), JavidJaffar, 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 said.
The Chief Engineer 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," he said.
The Chief Engineer explained that these works would continue round the year irrespective of the changes in water levels in the river.
The Governor was informed that the 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 directed that the actual dredging work on both the sites must be started without any further delay.
It may be recalled that under the Prime Minister's Rehabilitation 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.
Pertinent to recall that the Governor had earlier also directed officials to ensure time-bound completion of all emergent flood protection works, in a Mission Mode, by constituting a Group headed by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, to immediately deal with all matters connected with land acquisition and removal of encroachments.