JAMMU: Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar Monday said the Artificial Lake in Jammu is an integrated project being executed by the Irrigation & Flood Control Department, Housing and Urban Development Department and the Tourism Department.
Responding to the queries of the media-persons outside the Legislature complex regarding the progress of the project, the Minister said the Jammu Artificial Lake is a multi-phase project involving several departments and the executing agencies.
He said in the Phase-I, work on Design and Construction of barrages across river Tawi near Belicharana, Jammu, which is part of Artificial Lake was taken up for execution by the Irrigation & Flood Control Department at an estimated cost of Rs 69.70 crore, against which Rs 57.35 crore stand released/utilized by ending March 2016.
Giving details Akhtar, who is also the State Government spokesman, said 31 barrages are to be constructed by the Irrigation and Flood Control Department on river Tawi near Belicharana as part of the Artificial Lake project. He said out of these 20 barrages are to be constructed on Nikki Tawi and 11 barrages on Baddi Tawi. “While 11 barrages on Baddi Tawi stand fully completed and gated, the gates for 20 barrages constructed on Nikki Tawi are ready and shall be installed soon,” he said adding this amounts to 80% physical and financial progress of the works on the project which are to be executed by the Irrigation and Flood Control Department.
The Minister said in the Phase-II of the Artificial Lake Project, the beautification and embankment works are to be taken up under Tawi River Front Development Project for which MoU has already been signed by Jammu Development Authority (JDA) with the Sabarmati River Front Development Corporation (SRFDC) and a Detailed Project Report (DPR) has been prepared in this regard. “Work on Phase-II would be taken up for execution soon,” he said and added it also involves diversion of around 14 sewage channels presently draining directly into River Tawi. “These sewage channels are to be diverted to ensure pollution free water flows into the Artificial Lake,” he said and added that a comprehensive action plan has been worked out by the Housing and Urban Development Department in this regard.
The Minister said that in addition beautification works are also to be carried out along the banks of the River Tawi by the Tourism Department and as part of the beautification project a Park was inaugurated by the former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in the area in 2015.
The Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to develop Jammu as an independent tourism destination for which, he said several flagship projects area apace in varied sectors.
The Minister accused the opposition of raising rhetorical noises over non-existent issues as, according to him, they have failed to act as a responsible and responsive opposition.