Mega water supply project

Jammu has become a major city to which people have been migrating. Migrations have taken place owing to the eruption of violence along the long line of control with Pakistan and Pakistan’s unending firing across the border. People seek safer places to live and bring up their kids. Secondly, a large number of farm and factory workers from other States have been migrating to Jammu because it is one of the well-known cities where constructional work on large scale has been going on for several years. As such there is much pressure on the resources in Jammu.
Water is scarce in Jammu. The level of the underground water is depleting fast owing to the large number of tube wells which are dug to provide water to the people of the city. Tawi does not provide sufficient and round the year supply of water for consumption. Therefore some time back, the State Government envisaged a mega water supply project which would suffice supply of drinking water till the year 2020.
The Asian Development bank has created hurdles in offering loan for the project. Its objections are about environment and it believes that the project will have adverse effect on flora and fauna. But this line of argument seems untenable in the view of the fact that we have our own department of environment and that has cleared the project. The ADB may have other reasons or pretexts for not agreeing to advance the loan for the project. This is an important project and the entire population of Jammu city is involved. Therefore we have to go ahead with the project in any case. The Economic Committee of the Union Home Ministry also has the same opinion. It is very right on the part of the Chief Minister to approach the Japan Bank of International Commerce for advancing loan for this vital project. This Bank has been envisaging interests in various projects in India and as such it is likely that the Economic Department of the Union Home Ministry will follow the case and the Japanese Bank would be inclined to give approval to the project.
Actually now we understand that we have wasted at lest three years in running after the ADB for sanctioning the loan in this case. We are not at all convinced with the objection of bio-diversity aspect raised by the ADB. It is simply unfortunate that ADB has dragged its feet from clearing the project. There is no need of either entertaining any fear of ecology getting damaged as the ADB claims or apprehension of withdrawing project.
We are confident that given the goodwill which the Union Government and especially the Home Ministry have towards the State, we shall receive full support from all quarters in executing some mega projects. It is very important that the level of underground water in Jammu area is maintained and it should not be allowed to go down further. The reasonable level has to be maintained. Jammu should be thankful to the Chief Minister for his upright decision of not shelving the project for want of funds after ADB declined to meet the request. The CM has put his foot down and a way has been found.
River Chenab is a perennial source of supply of water while Tawi is not. This is a plus point and, therefore, the question of stalling the project can never arise. The Prime Minister during his recent visit to Leh has said that funding will not come in the way of mega projects in the pipeline in our State. We are resolved to carry forward our important plans to their completion.


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