Three irrigation projects in the Indus river basin in Jammu and Kashmir, which were supposed to be completed by March this year, have missed their deadline.
These projects are part of the 23 irrigation works the Central Government had prioritized to complete by the end of the previous fiscal under two Central schemes. These are Tral irrigation project in Pulwama, Prakachik Khows canal project in Kargil and the modernization of Ravi Canal in Jammu. All the three have missed the date line and now various pretexts are offered by the authorities to rationalize delay. We are not told why the Tral project was ordered to be put under review. The Prakachik Khows project in Kargil is delayed and the authorities put the blame to harsh weather conditions. It is so strange. Who does not know that Kargil falls in cold zone area and snow and cold lasts for the major part of the year? Why should it be made an excuse for failure to keep the date? Is this the fast-tracking of projects which included the three projects that had been taken up under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKYS) and Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP), aiming to increase irrigated land in the State by nearly 2.05 lakh acres? The three projects would help cover 1.45 lakh acres of the total area planned to be irrigated. When will these projects be completed remains shrouded in uncertainty?