Revised Tawi Barrage Project


With the measure of hype for River Tawi Artificial Lake project which was replete more than a decade back, even earlier in its conceptual form, with double the measure the project plunged into problems – one after the other, resulting in the work getting suspended on it. Launched in 2009 but actually sanctioned in the year 2010-11 as a project of its own kind to provide some scope to Jammu residents, young and old, spend some moments around the artificial lake and have water recreation, joy, fun and frolic besides occasion to enjoying boating and develop interest in water sports as well, missed as many as six deadlines before the work on it ”formally” got stopped in 2018. The importance of the project can be seen in one major form in that visitors in large numbers, it may be reiterated, visiting Holy shrines of Mata Vaishno Devi and Shree Amar Nath in Jammu and Kashmir divisions respectively, on both occasions – i.e, on arrival in Jammu and while leaving from Jammu, have practically nothing worth enticing interest and spending a day or two extra in Jammu city. Not only would that provide them with a new feeling of ”city tourism” but that would accelerate the process of economic activities and result in a boost to trade and commerce as well. In addition to that, there would be an automatic check on the untreated sewage passing through the city from going into and polluting the river as is happening at present. It is quite heartening to note that the Administrative Council headed by the Lieutenant Governor has accorded sanction to revised project of River Tawi Barrage but let us have this hope, now, that this time the project must go through and not meet the same fate as the original one. It is really not only unfortunate but a demonstration of utter lacking of professionalism and seriousness on the part of the engineering personnel and the administrative wings respectively in not having been able to prevent the fate of the main project as it got entangled in various humps and protrusions, court cases and various lapses. Though the UT Government had constituted a committee early last year to probe into various lapses and fix responsibility in the exercise of the execution of the work vis-a-vis the contract to a private firm, yet the findings are neither known nor what type of action was taken. Now revised detailed project report having been prepared which was necessitated on several counts and the inordinate delay caused resulting in cost escalation, additional funds to the tune of Rs.73.34 crores are sanctioned which means total project cost has gone up to Rs.131.53 crore. It can be gauged that the delay of 7 long years caused due to unprofessional and unethical approach of the contracting agency and poor and casual monitoring of the concerned departments not only resulted in the cost of the project going high but caused a virtual entirely new process now to start right from fresh e-tendering. We hope that there will be a positive response to the tendering process so that the remaining part of the work on the prestigious and even sensitive project gets completed within the projected period of 10 months. Re-starting the work on the project would also mean virtually to ”save” the already spent amount on it amounting to Rs.58.20 crore. We hope the plan, design and other contours of the project remain the same in that the construction of an auto -mechanical barrage on the river plus creation of 1500 metre long and 600 metre wide artificial lake followed by beautification and embankment works – all would be undertaken and ensured to be completed without any brakes or hiccups. We need it for the local residents as also for visiting tourists and expecting it to be the first of its kind in Jammu, new dimensions could be expected from it to be given to Jammu tourism. Housing and Urban Development Department and the Tourism Department, therefore, are privileged to be associated with this project to ensure completion in the stipulated timeframe.