Concrete embankments coming up to restore Srinagar’s Sonarkul

Concrete embankments coming up to restore Srinagar’s Sonarkul
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Srinagar: Sonarkul, one of Srinagar’s major dewatering channels is set to be restored again after the 2014 flood damaged its embankments and reduced its carrying capacity.
The government has identified 25 vulnerable spots on the channel’s banks for which an amount of Rs 5 crore is being spent to construct concrete embankments.
According to the Executive Engineer, Flood and Irrigation Department, Srinagar, Sartaj Singh, the water channel’s intake capacity had reduced after the massive deluge four years ago. The ongoing concrete embankment construction work would be completed by March-end after which the water channel would be again brought to life, he said.
“I believe the entire work would be completed by March 31 under the comprehensive plan of flood management funded by the Government of India,” Singh told Kashmir Reader. He added that half the work had already been completed.
According to him, the department initially identified about 12 spots in need of repairs after the floods but later more spots were identified where the possibility of breach could have erupted.
“All vulnerable spots would be strengthened with stone and concrete works,” Singh said. However, the department would also face hurdles such as the rehabilitation of those living near the channel “on encroached embankments”.
“We have removed many encroachers from there but still there are some patches where one finds some dwellers because they have not been rehabilitated yet,” said Singh.
The government has prepared a comprehensive plan for the rehabilitation of those living near Sonarkul, and they would be relocated, Singh said.
“All of them would be shifted to a colony at Gund Shahie Aksha developed by the Srinagar Development Authority, the moment it (the colony) starts issuing slips to them,” the engineer added.
However, he said, it would not affect the project’s deadline.
“The government recently conducted a meeting, and I believe all the identified dwellers would be rehabilitated any time soon with plots issued for construction of their houses,” he said.