City drainage to get boost, SMC spending Rs 50 crore

City drainage to get boost, SMC spending Rs 50 crore
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By Nazima Sidiq
Srinagar: Drainage system is likely to be effective in capital Srinagar after a massive funding shot of Rs 50 crore was given to the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).
Under the centrally-sponsored Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme coupled with World Bank’s financial support, the government is gearing up to set the faulty drainage system right in the populous city.
The officials said it was for the first time that SMC received such a whopping amount to be spent on the drainage system, which is presently catering to a meager 40 percent of the city population.
“The city’s existing drainage system is decades old, making the urban localities prone to water logging during rainy seasons. Over the years, the state government initiated a number of drainage schemes in Kashmir, but lack of funds aborted most of them,” said Virender Raina, an engineer with the SMC.
“Under the new funding plan, Shalteng, Lal Chowk, Indira Nagar, Nund Reshi colony and Gangroh areas have been approved,” he said.
He said that many of the city areas have been brought under an effective drainage system but several areas face water-logging because there is lack of coordination between several departments.
“The lack of coordination between various departments is one of the main reasons for lack of improvement in the drainage system,” Raina added.
“The drainage system will undergo a phenomenal change during the upcoming financial year. Presently, 40 percent area of the city is covered under effective drainage. An amount of Rs 100 crore has been approved and we have received Rs 50 crore so far,” said SMC Commissioner Dr Shafkat Khan.
He said that working on the new drainage system was delayed due to the lukewarm response to tenders by the contractors.
“Due to the uprising in Kashmir, there was low response to the tender. Now the process is in its final phase and we expect to begin working by the next month,” he said.