JAMMU, Sept 21: Assistant Solicitor General of India shall file a detailed report on behalf of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, before the Division Bench hearing the PIL highlighting damages caused by flash floods in Niki Tawi area.
Appearing for Central Water Commission in the open court, ASGI Vishal Sharma informed the Division Bench comprising First Puisne Judge Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Sindhu Sharma that the Director Central Water Commission Jammu has already taken up the matter with the Ministry of Jal Shakti and will file a detailed report before the next date of hearing concerning the issue highlighted in the PIL.
He further submitted that the Commission only monitors and funds the projects and for expert advice the appropriate agency is Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt of India.
While hearing the much publicized PIL filed by inhabitants of villages Barjala and Khandwal (Niki Tawi area), highlighting damage caused annually to the villages in the area, the Division Bench, headed by First Puisne Judge Justice Rajesh Bindal, expressed deep concern over the issue of flash floods in River Tawi during monsoon and lack of proper policy to control the floods as counsel appearing for the petitioners Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed submitted that every year more than 90 percent of the water during monsoon from Tawi Bridge gets discharged into Niki Tawi whereas less than 10 percent water is discharged in Badi Tawi.
Advocate S S Ahmed further highlighted that a few years back Niki Tawi was just a small canal for irrigation purposes and later major flow of the Badi Tawi was diverted towards the Niki Tawi. He further submitted that every year the flash floods create havoc in the area with the result more than 45 villages get affected/disconnected during rainy season.
At this stage Deputy Advocate General K D S Kotwal, appearing for Irrigation and Flood Control Department J&K Govt, submitted before the Division Bench that the State of J&K in I&FC Department will communicate with the Ministry of Jal Shakti Govt of India for seeking their advice giving all the details for control of floods in river Tawi and also number of rivers in the State where crores of rupees are spent annually for construction of retaining wall to control the floods.
The Division Bench, after considering the submissions of both the sides in the open court, allowed time to ASGI Vishal Sharma to file a detailed report before the next date of hearing so that the issue highlighted in the PIL is re-considered.