1 Year On, Jehlum Breach Points Unattended; City Vulnerable

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SRINAGAR: The State Government Friday revealed that the vulnerable breach points along the River Jhelum will be taken up for the execution only after the comprehensive project costing Rs 399.29 crores is approved and funded by Government of India.

Minister for PHE, I&FC Sukhnandan informed the house that the repair works alongside the banks of River Jehlum of the breached spots have been completed under temporary restoration. However, under the permanent restoration, works are in progress. He was responding to a question raised by National Conference legislator Muhammad Akbar Lone.

The Minister according to sources  said that Irrigation and Flood Control Department is shortly starting the re-sanctioning and expansion of Flood Spill Channel from Bemina to Hokersar and expansion of two bridges at Sharifabad and Naidkhai which are included in the project ‘Priority works-comprehensive plan for Flood Management works of River Jehlum phase-1 which awaits financial clearance from Government of India and the funding is expected during the current financial year.There is a provision of Rs 142 crores for land compensation and it will be provided to those owners whose houses and other structures are likely to come under the expansion plan.

Despite a few flood alarms and the fact that Srinagar or for that matter Kashmir faces a clear and present flood threat, the Government does not appear to take this seriously. A matter that should have received urgent attention at all levels of government is left pending. No reason can justify this omission by the Government. What if the breach points along Jehlum get inundated? What will happen then? The Government should take  the old adage, ‘ a stitch in time saves nine’ , to heart and take urgent preventative action now.

 

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