*Takes stock of Dal conservation measures
JAMMU, Aug 30: Governor Satya Pal Malik has called for a comprehensive strategy and tangible measures to deal with flood-like situations in the State with specific reference to Kashmir Valley. He directed the Department of Irrigation & Flood Control to put in place all the necessary arrangements to effectively deal with any flood-like situations and to prevent recurrence of the September-2014 situation.
While chairing a maiden review meeting on flood management at the Civil Secretariat here today, the Governor emphasized the need for a fresh review of flood mitigation plans by all the Deputy Commissioners and speeding up the process of clearing the drainages; strengthening the river banks with special focus on vulnerable spots.
The Governor complimented the administration over the preparatory work done and directed the concerned to take immediate action to fill up any identified additional gaps to thwart any challenge due to flood like situation in future. He called for maintaining a close synergy by various agencies for ensuring tangible results on ground.
The Governor also obtained detailed feedback on the progress of PMDP and directed for speeding up the process to achieve the targets in a time bound manner.
Advisors to Governor, BB Vyas, K Vijay Kumar &Khurshid Ahmad Ganai; Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, Financial Commissioner, Housing, KB Aggarwal; Principal Secretary to Governor, Umang Narula;Commissioner Secretary PWD (R&B), Khurshid Ahmed Shah; Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan; Secretary Irrigation & Flood Control, Farooq Ahmad Shah, Vice Chairman, LAWDA, Chief Engineer, Irrigation & Flood Control, Commissioner SMC, Director Disaster Management and other officers were present in the meeting.
Regarding strengthening and raising the embankments of the river, Governor was informed that 113 spots on river Jhelum have been identified and strengthened during monitoring by Beat and Sectoral Officers; 140 spots on tributaries have been temporarily restored and strengthened; strengthening of 25 spots on river Jhelum and 68 spots on tributaries are under progress.
Under the long-term measures, the action has already been taken by the State Government under Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project in consultation I & FC Department Kashmir. Under these measures, the PM’s Core Group & the team of directors of CWC visited the valley in 2015 and recommended some vital steps to be taken under long term strategy as well to mitigate a flood threat of 1,15000 cusecs at Sangam.
The State Government has already initiated steps viz engaging the consultancy for “conduct of Surveys, feasibility studies, EIA/EMP for integrated Comprehensive Flood management of River Jhelum & its tributaries including preparation of Detailed Project Report.”, under world bank funding through its state PMU (Project monitoring Unit) under JTFRP.
It was also informed that sufficient funds have been kept at the disposal of Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners for the procurement of emergency material according to the situation.
Meanwhile, Governor called for initiating both short and long-term measures for the effective conservation and preservation of the J&K’s water bodies including the Dal Lake.
Chairing a high-level meeting, Governor ordered fixing timelines for various tasks to be accomplished urgently for effective conservation and restoration measures.
Governor called for framing a comprehensive legislative framework for conservation of water bodies in the State as these are closely linked to the survival of the people.
He made it clear that conservation and restoration of water bodies including Dal-Nageen Lakes will be among the priority areas of his Administration and the Prime Minister, in his Independence Day speech this year, also stressed the urgency of the conservation of this important water bodies in J&K.
Financial Commissioner, Housing & Urban Development, briefed the Governor in detail about the measures being taken for the conservation of the Dal-Nageen Lakes.
About relocation of structures, Governor directed that the fresh survey should be a comprehensive updated exercise to identify and enlist, preferably on the basis of Aadhaar number and photograph of the head of each family, each such structure which is to be relocated as a part of the Dal Conservation program. He said the support of local elected representatives and other stakeholders should be enlisted for the purpose.
Governor directed that the Vice-Chairman LAWDA would personally visit the interiors of the Lake regularly to monitor the progress of deweeding and ensure set targets are met within the timeline.