Jhelum dredging goes on at snail’s pace

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Srinagar: The much-hyped machine hired by authorities for dredging river Jhelum in Srinagar is busy in sand extraction, leaving slit behind.

The move has put authorities under severe criticism and also raised questions over assurances of government against the dredging.

Locals term the present dredging as “process of looting state resources and doing nothing to avoid any future floods.”

The Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) department has awarded Rs 46 crore project to Kolkata-based dredging firm. Locals said that it has proved nothing more than the wastage of public money and time.

Not happy with process and progress on the project, local population accuse authorities of being hand in glove with the executors of project.

The dredger is presently working at Rajbagh near Zero Bride area. The visit by this reporter revealed that lot of slit is being left behind while the sand extraction is on its peak.

Government had announced taking of several measures to avoid any future floods to Srinagar city after it has failed to explain

The group of spectator who were on spot to watching dredging process told KNS that government must initiate appropriate action under law against officials, found guilty of dereliction of duty.

“A man of prudence can say that dredging is not going effectively. No official is also present not here to monitor the process. What we have been observing since past several days is only sand extraction,” said Asrar Ahmad of Dalgate.

He added that dredging of Jhelum River is of utmost impotence to avoid any 2014 devastating floods. “Any omission or commission for the sake of few bucks can endanger entire Srinagar city when the water level goes high in river with few drops, of rain,” he told KNS.

Earlier, the dredger was pressed at Shivpora. However, the locals of Shivpora accused the company of doing nothing except the process of sand extraction.

The company had pressed its men and machinery for dredging a portion of Jhelum at Shivpora. “It did nothing but only extracted sand. Where the company found only slit to be removed, it left it unattended and moved forward to look again for the extraction of sand. This is all what it is doing,” alleged locals.

The company, according to locals of Shivpora, has not carried any dredging. “The fact on grounds speaks different things. The company has done nothing which could be termed or called as effective dredging. It has remained busy on in sand extraction,” locals alleged.

Pertinently, the dredger brought by the company couldn’t start work in time as it developed some technical snag on day one. It has remained dysfunctional time and again, wasting precious time. (KNS)

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