Approved three years ago, Sukhnag anti-erosion scheme yet to be implemented

Javid Ali
Budgam: Approved three years ago, the state government is yet to implement the anti-erosion scheme aimed at permanent restoration of the embankments and the surface of the Sukhnag rivulet.
The rivulet, which flows across 20 villages from central to North Kashmir, has weak embankments and its surface is also damaged at many places.
The government had approved Rs 25 crore scheme to restore the rivulet, however, no action has been taken so far.
The water retention capacity of this 54-kilometer rivulet has reduced to a large extend. Besides, massive flow of water has also damaged its embankments over the time.
The rivulet is also accumulated with heaps of soil at many places resulting in water blockade and subsequently breaches at many places when the water level is high.
The choked rivulet proved disastrous during the last year’s flood as its gushing waters washed away 300 kanals of agriculture land including apple orchids and paddy fields.
This high-altitude rivulet can prove dangerous for the people living alongside the embankments as even a downpour accelerates the flow of water.
The residents of several villages along the rivulet are apprehensive saying that a rainfall may result in floods in these areas.
“The source of the rivulet is in Tosa-maidan and a heavy downpour may flood our areas as the waters rushes down the terrain very fast,” said Abdul Majeed Bhat, a resident of Nupora.
“Minor floods have been a routine but we are apprehensive about a major one as the embankments are very weak,”.
Sukhnag, a torrential stream, flows through Central Kashmir’s Budgam district. It flows from the mountain reaches of the Pir Panjal mountain range located in the southwest of Beerwah town. The Sukhnag stream drains the famous Tosa-maidan region finally merging with the outlet of Hokersar wetland.
Executive engineer, flood spill channel of division Narbal, Mohammad Ashraf Sheikh, told Kashmir Reader that the scheme was meant for shifting of accumulated soil “which has partially choked the rivulet.
“This soil was to be used to fill the weak embankments. If the scheme would have been implemented three years back, it would have ensured smooth flow of water. This water body was choked and consequently inundated many adjoining areas during last year’s flood.”
“The scheme stands approved, but the financial sanction is yet to be approved.”
He said that the scheme was approved to save the property including houses, agriculture land along the rivulet.