Citing paucity of funds, Centre expresses inability to release its share
SRINAGAR, Apr 23 (KNO): The Central government has not released its share for a mega flood mitigation project in Kashmir Valley during 2020-21, citing paucity of funds.
Documents in possession of news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reveal that the Department of Water Resources (DoWR), Union Jal Shakti Ministry informed the administration of J&K that central assistance could not be released for “comprehensive flood management of River Jhelum and its tributaries- Phase-II” due to dearth of funds.
“DOWR intimated central assistance could not be released this year due to paucity of funds,” reads latest status report of the projects being funded under the Prime Minister’s Development Package for J&K.
The Centre expressed its inability to release its share after J&K administration sought Rs 225 crore for the project.
According to the documents, the project costing Rs 1623.43 crore has received both technical sanction and investment clearance from the Centre, even as only 1178 crore were kept for it in the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP).
J&K has so far utilized Rs 39.14 crore against Rs 47.49 crore released by DoWR for the project, the documents reveal
The project was proposed after floods wreaked havoc in Jammu & Kashmir in 2014. The devastating deluge devoured 300 lives and damaged property worth thousands of crores in the State.
A committee set-up by the Government of India to go into the cause of catastrophic floods suggested several measures to prevent such calamities in future.
In its report, the panel recommended several long term measures including additional supplementary flood spill channel, creation of storage facilities on tributaries of Jhelum, flood plain zoning and enhancing capacity of Wular Lake.
“Small storages on various tributaries of Jhelum for general, power and/or flood purposes as per provisions of Indus Water Treaty may be planned and created. This will help in moderating the floods and also enable in reducing the sediment load of River Jhelum,” the panel recommended—(KNO)