Srinagar: To finish crucial projects including the Jhelum Flood Management, the government has increased budgetary allocation to the Jal Shakti Department by a staggering Rs 3191 crore in the Budget 2023-24.
"For Jal Shakti Department, an allocation of Rs 7161 crore has been made under Capital Expenditure for 2023-24, which is Rs 3191 crore more than the previous year’s budget allocation," reads an official document of the government.
Officials said that the government has set implementation of Part-B of Jhelum Flood Management on top agenda for increasing the carrying capacity of the river.
Under the Prime Minister's Development Package, an estimated Rs 1623 crore has been set aside for complete flood management of the River Jhelum and its tributaries-phase II (PMDP).
A top official said that the J&K government had approved the project's investment and distributed its budget portion.
He said that the union cabinet's approval and then central financing were all that was left to happen.
In 2020, the J&K administration accorded approval in principle to the comprehensive plan for flood management works on Jhelum-II.
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.
Accordingly, to enhance the carrying capacity of the River Jhelum from the then 31,000 cusecs to 60,000 cusecs, action was envisaged in two phases under PMDP.
Other important projects to be undertaken by the Jal Shakti Department in the upcoming fiscal year are that all 18.36 lakh households of J&K to have functional household tap connections by 2023-24.
Every household to be provided drinking water with a minimum of 55 litre per capita per day (LPCD) and of prescribed quality (confirming to BIS 10,500) on a regular, long-term and sustainable basis.
"Sixty water supply schemes are likely to be completed during 2023 24, 100 percent Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) based tanker service to be introduced in rural areas," the document read. "National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) will provide accreditation for 20 labs. Digitalisation of consumer records and implementation of online billing system will be done in the entire J&K."
It read that the construction of Tawi Barrage would be completed during 2023-24.
“Timely desilting of irrigation canals and completion of Hokersar Wetland sluice gates for maintaining optimal water depth," the document read.