The Jammu and Kashmir government is yet to take up the dredging of Jhelum and its flood spilling channels, even though it is over a year since the 2014 floods brought tonnes of slit into the riverbed.
The government has so far not been able to finalise any contract for the retrieval of the river. It says that lack of funds and bureaucratic delay are reasons for the stagnating situation. Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control Department of Kashmir, Javeed Jaffar told the media that his department was carrying out the dredging work although it is low-paced in the want of a contract with a company outside the state.
“The September 2014 floods have brought a lot of mud, sludge and silt into all water basins and not only in Jhelum. The government should go for dredging immediately as it cannot be done after autumn,” said Ghulam Mustafa, one of the retired engineers of the Flood and Irrigation Department.
The state government has already submitted a proposal for the dredging and for the construction of alternative flood spilling channel for Jhelum, to the Centre and is waiting for its nod. “We have very little funds and we are utilising them by clearing the land mass in Jhelum at many crucial places,” said a source in the Irrigation and Flood Control Department.
The PDP-BJP coalition government is waiting for Central funds for minimising the flood threat in Jammu and Kashmir. It is expected that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will announce a huge financial package for rebuilding of the state ravaged by the 2014 floods during his visit to Srinagar on Saturday.