JAMMU, Jan 10: In a testimony of slack approach of PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Department, a lift irrigation scheme in Nowshera area of Rajouri district has remained incomplete even after expenditure of Rs 16.33 crore and lapse of nearly 10 years.
The Rajal Gravity Feeder channel was approved under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) of the Union Government at an estimated cost of Rs 17.50 crore in the year 2006-07 and it was proposed to be completed within a period of five years—by up to 2010-11.
However, its fate is still hanging in balance despite lapse of nearly 10 years as due to the slackness of Department of PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, the cost of the scheme increased enormously. Even after expenditure of Rs 16.33 crore, the scheme required Rs 5.8 crore more for its completion.
The issue was raised by MLA Nowshera Ravinder Raina during the Question Hour in Legislative Assembly and said, “it is a matter of serious concern that despite huge expenditure the scheme is nowhere near completion”. He demanded that department should ensure that there is no further delay in its completion.
Replying to the query of MLA Nowshera, the Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Sham Lal Choudhary said, “the scheme requires additional funds”, adding “the project is expected to be completed within two years subject to release of full funds well in time from the Government of India”.
However, the Minister failed to inform the House as to whether there was any commitment from the Union Government for release of additional funds without which the fate of scheme would continue to hang in balance.
Similar was the reply of the Minister to Beri Pattan lift irrigation scheme, which was started in 2011-12. “The up to date expenditure incurred on the scheme ending March 2016 was Rs 1146.91 lakh and balance amount of Rs 3961.09 lakh is required for its completion”, he said, adding “the scheme will be completed within two years subject to release of balance central assistance by the Union Ministry of Water Resources”.