Srinagar: The World Bank has agreed to extend by one year the deadline for completion of the Rs 1500 crore Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery project in J&K.
As per an official document, the WB has also agreed to give subsequent extension of further six months depending upon the outcome of a joint performance review to be held later.
“In response to government of Jammu and Kashmir’s (GoJK) request for 18 months’ extension, the Borrower, Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Government of India, has sent a request to Bank on June 17, 2021 for a two-phase extension,” the document reads.
“This phased approach includes an initial extension of 12 months and a subsequent extension till December 31, 2022 dependent upon the outcome of a joint performance review by DEA and the Bank. This joint review will be scheduled in the first week of June 2022 and would assess the progress of an Action Plan below that has been agreed between the Project Implementing Entity and the Bank (sic),” it reads.
“In response to the 2014 floods in the Jhelum and the Tawi basin in northern India, the Project financed by an IDA Credit of $250 million was approved on June 2, 2015 with a closing date of June 30, 2020,” the document reads.
“The Project focuses on reconstruction and recovery of infrastructure and livelihoods; and strengthening disaster risk management (DRM) capacities of the State. The closing date was extended to June 30, 2021 and CERC was activated with $50 million reallocated to support COVID-19 response and boost health preparedness,” it says.
In September 2014, Jammu and Kashmir experienced torrential monsoon rains causing major floods and landslides. The continuous spell of rains from September 2 to 6 caused Jhelum and Chenab rivers as well as many other streams/tributaries to flow above the danger mark.
The Jhelum breached its banks flooding many low-lying areas in Anantnag, Srinagar and adjoining districts. In many districts, the rainfall exceeded the normal by over 600 per cent.
In the aftermath of the devastating floods, the Government of India requested assistance from the World Bank and an emergency project figured by the Natural Disaster was started, the project is named as Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project.
The project focuses on restoring critical infrastructure using international best practice on resilient infrastructure. Given the region’s vulnerability to both floods and earthquakes, the infrastructure will be designed with upgraded resilient features, and will include contingency planning for future disaster events. Therefore, the project aims at both restoring essential services disrupted by the floods and improving the design standard and practices to increase resilience.
The project development objective is to support the recovery and increase disaster resilience in Project Areas, and increase the capacity of the Project Implementing Entity to respond promptly and effectively to an eligible crisis or emergency.