Dredging of River Jhelum at snail’s pace, locals urge Govt to expedite process

The authorities had promised to complete the dredging process on River Jhelum on priority but unfortunately, everything has proved contrary to these claims.

The work is moving at snail’s pace and has come under severe criticism by the residents, who say that the authorities are putting their lives and properties at risk. Looking at the slow speed of the dredging work, the residents are questioning the assurance of the authorities.

The locals have termed the ongoing dredging as “a process of looting the state resources and nothing is been done to avoid future floods.”

The Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) Department had awarded Rs 46 crore project to a Kolkata-based dredging firm. Locals said that it has proved nothing more than the wastage of public money and time.

Not happy with process and progress of the project, local population accuse authorities of being hand in glove with the executors of the project.

The dredger is presently working at Rajbagh near Zero Bride area. It was exposed that a lot of slit was being left behind while the sand extraction is on its peak.

The group of spectators, who were on spot, watching the dredging process said that government must initiate appropriate action against officials found guilty of dereliction of duty.

Imtiyaz Ahmad of Rambagh said, “Anyone can say that dredging is not being done effectively. No official is present to monitor the process. What we have been observing since past several days is only sand extraction.

“Dredging of Jhelum River is of utmost importance to avoid repetition of 2014 floods, which were devastating. Any omission or commission for the sake of a few bucks can endanger the entire Srinagar city when the water level goes high in river with just a few bouts of rain.”

Earlier, the dredger was pressed at Shivpora. However, the locals of Shivpora accused the company of doing nothing except the process of sand extraction.

Locals alleged, “The company had pressed its men and machinery for dredging a portion of Jhelum at Shivpora. It did nothing but extraction of sand. The company has not carried out any dredging. The fact on ground speaks different things.” 

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