PDP legislator takes on Irrigation Minister


Jammu: Peoples Democratic Party legislator from Sonwar, Mohammad Ashraf Mir Wednesday said that the government has failed to satisfactorily carry out dredging works river Jhelum in Srinagar district.

As the Minister for Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC), Sham Lal Choudhary stood up to answer a query on the Jhelum dredging, he was cornered by Mir. 

“In your reply, you have stated that you are doing dredging in Sopore. The flood threat is here in Srinagar due to the course of the river. I fail to understand the plan of this department,” Mir said.

While demanding formulation of a house committee to monitor the dredging of the river, Mir said that if a flood of the magnitude of 2014 hits the Valley gain the government is in no position to tackle it.

He alleged that the PM package for the dredging was not utilized till now and alleged that the Minister is diverting the attention of the house.

He said that danger of a flood is looming large in Srinagar as no work was done from Pampore to Sonawar after three years.

Mir was seconded in his demand by CPI(M) leader and MLA Kulgam, M.Y Tarigami who said that the government should tell the house that it will take more than two decades to dredge the river bed.

“You haven’t done anything,” Tarigami told the I&FC minister while adding that if he doesn’t have the answers to the supplementary questions then the question of the member should be deferred.

He said that the need for the house committee was very urgent as the matter is very serious.

Also raising the need for the formulation of the house committee, senior National Conference leader and MLA Khanyar, Ali Mohammad Sagar said that the government is in hibernation while the time is running out to dredge the river.

“Everybody is concerned about dredging of river Jhelum in Srinagar. There should have been 4-5 machines in Srinagar to dredge out the silt but you are busy dredging in Sopore,” he said.

Earlier in its reply to the query of Mohammad Ashraf Mir, the government stated that 5.06 lakh cu meters silt has been dredged out in Baramulla part of the Jhelum while 5.084 lakh cu meters have been dredged out in Srinagar part of the river.

The government also revealed that it has no proposal to seek the financial assistance from the World Bank for desilting the water bodies falling under the Forest, Environment, and Ecology Department.



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