Governor ‘regrets’ delay in mechanical dredging of Jhelum

SRINAGAR: Governor NN Vohra has expressed “regret and serious concern” over the delay in the commencement of the mechanical dredging of the Jhelum and directed the authorities concerned that the work must be started without any further delay.
He issued the directions after inspecting the dredging operation at Noorbagh, immediately after his arrival at Srinagar early this morning.
The governor was informed by the chief engineer irrigation and flood control that about 6,10,000 cum of the river bed has been dredged so far, while dredging has been completed to the tune of 92,000 cum in the Flood Spill Channel. He also informed that by March this year the department intended to achieve the cumulative dredging target of 8,00,000 cum.
In addition to the above target, the Kolkata-based Reach Dredgers has been tasked with mechanical dredging of 7,00,000 cum in the Srinagar stretch and 9,15,000 cum in Baramulla stretch of the river.
The governor expressed concern over why the mechanical dredging has not been started yet.
The chief engineer explained that these works would continue round the year irrespective of the changes in water levels in the river. He elaborated that identification of sites and construction of dykes as well as mobilization of dredgers has already been initiated at the sites of Bell mouth of Flood Spill Channel and Outfall Channel Baramulla.
The governor was accompanied by his advisor Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, chief secretary BR Sharma, financial commissioner planning and development BB Vyas, principal secretary to governor PK Tripathi, principal secretary home RK Goyal, commissioner irrigation and flood control Rohit Kansal and divisional commissioner Asgar Hassan Samoon during the inspection visit.
The governor reiterated his earlier direction, issued during a review meeting at Raj Bhawan on February 2, regarding time-bound completion of all emergent flood protection works in ‘Mission mode’ by constituting a Group headed by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, to immediately deal with all matters connected with land acquisition, removal of encroachments, etc.
He also asked the Commissioner (I&FC) Rohit Kansal to personally monitor, every Saturday, the progress of dredging works and ensure resolution of all issues, if any, for time bound completion.