JKSWRRA stresses on water governance during two day tour

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SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir State Water Resources Regulatory Authority (JKSWRRA) under the chairmanship of Pramod Jain undertook here a comprehensive review of implementation of various provisions of J&K Water Resources (Regulation and Management) Act.
The chairperson was accompanied by Kaneez Fatima, Ravi Magotra, Er Muzzafar Lankar and other members of JKSWRRA.
The authority observed that there was slackness on the part of utilities in the implementation of provisions of JKSWRRA Act and called upon the Chief Engineers of PHE and I&FC to work in close association with other departments like Agriculture, Command Area, Geology and Mining, Health, Education, Sports, Ecology and Environment, Agriculture Universities in this regard.
They observed that Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners can facilitate in providing the desired coordination platform.
The authority reiterated its concern over non-submission of Quarterly Progress Reports by the utilities with regularity. It observed that QPRs are to be submitted in a consolidated manner to JKSWRRA as per the devised proforma, by the Chief Engineers of PHE and I&FC departments and Superintending Engineers of Hydraulic Circle, Leh and Kargil. Chairperson made it clear that the authority will not entertain QPRs submitted directly by the Executive Engineers.
Chairperson while reviewing working of CCDU in detail called for a better design and well-planned approach.
CCDU should work out a well thought calendar of events in the beginning of the year and plan their activities to accomplish the mandated role accordingly, chairperson said.
The Authority felt that besides NGOs, the Village Water Sanitation Committees headed by Junior Engineers can play an added role in this direction and as such their revival and purposeful engagement would need to be fast-tracked. They called for engaging children, mothers, students, teachers, women folk, Ashas, Anganwardi workers, Research scholars and other experts in the field in a meaning full manner to make ‘World Water Day’ ‘World Water Week’ a resounding success.
CCDU was instructed by authority to rejig their world water day celebration plans and programmes with focus on this year’s declared theme ‘Nature for Water’. Impact assessment studies should also be done for a continued improvement in the CCDU activities and plans.
The authority also visited site of ongoing restoration works of Jhelum embankment at Lasjan that caved in last month and expressed satisfaction over the pace and content of the work being executed. The authority advised that there was need for identifying other vulnerable patches and take timely preventive action.
Winding up its 2-day visit to valley, the authority visited test labs at Tangnar, Nishat and Rangil filtration plants.
The authority also visited sites in Ganderbal district to take stock of the extent of damage where illegal mining of riverbed material in Sindh Nallah was going on. Authority issued instructions to Chief Engineer I&FC, Kashmir and Executive Engineer, FC division Ganderbal to take strict action under section 81, 87 of the act and provision of rule 42 of the J&K Water and Resources (Regulation & Management) rules, 2011 and ensure that further damage of the nallah bed is stopped forthwith.
Authority also implored heads of utilities i.e Chief Engineers of PHE and I&FC to devote sufficient time for management and water governance aspects and not remain mostly engaged with the execution aspects of projects and schemes.