Hajin: Residents of Hajin area of north Kashmir on Sunday protested against the district administration for failing to repair the embankments along the river Jhelum.
According to the residents, the work on the embankments has not been started again despite of improved weather conditions in the valley. “In January, the embankments got washed away near Sheikh Mohalla and Baganyar. Four months passed but authorities have failed to complete repair work,” Farooq Ahmad, a local resident told Kashmir Reader.
“Our lives are at stake and I don’t understand why the repairing work was stopped mid way,” Ahmad said.
An octogenarian resident, Abdul Rashid, while accusing administration of being non-serious about the issue said, “The work was being carried at snail’s pace and that too in intervals. They want us to suffer during floods.”
Meanwhile, the contractor Haji Mustaq Ahmad, one responsible for the repair work, while blaming Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Department, said: “We have stopped the work because till date authorities (Irrigation and Flood Department) have not released a single penny. Till now around Rs 60 lakh have been spent, all from my pocket. I have to meet expenses of labours and machines and I can’t bear everything all by myself.”
However, Executive Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control Gulam Jeelani claimed that they are following a prescribed procedure for repair work. “The repair process is underway. It will take time as the stretch is very long and we have to follow standard methods,” he said.
“All the pending dues of the contractor will be released soon. I have submitted report to the authorities,” he added.