Srinagar, Sep 21: The state government authorities here said that it has managed to get clearance from various central government departments to start the work on much awaited Chenab water diversion project.
One of the top officials here in the civil secretariat wished not to be named told Kashmir News Service that the centre has given its clearance to go ahead with the project “Yes, the MHA, MEA, Niti Aayog has given its clearance. Now, the project has been submitted to the central government. As soon as we get the funds, the work will be started,” said the official.
Sources said that in 2015, the previous coalition under its Rs 886-crore plan, “Augmentation of water supply to Jammu city from the Chenab”, had approached the Department of Economic Affairs, which comes under the Union Ministry of Finance, for funding. “After which, the Department of Economic Affairs directed the state to seek clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Niti Aayog and the MHA.
Sources said that thought the MEA and Niti Aayog had given their nod but the Union Home Ministry had not given a clearance due to security concerns.
However sources said that the MHA now granted a no-objection certificate to pave way for the ambitious project.
Sources said that the government has now submitted the project to the Department of Economic Affairs Government of India, which will approach Japanese International Cooperation Agency to acquire funds for the Phase-I.
Sources said that the delay in granting permission from MHA had stalled the plan aimed at ending perennial water crisis facing nearly two million people in J&K.
Sources said that years of delay in the Chenab water diversion project has also led to cost overrun. “In 2007, the total project cost was Rs 1,000 crore. The Phase-I was to cost Rs 500 crore, which was to be completed in 2016. However, now the Phase-I is estimated to cost Rs 824 crore,” sources maintained.
Sources said that it has been seen over the years that during the peak summer, the PHE department is unable to meet the requirements in Jammu as well as other towns of the region. The total water requirement of Jammu is 65 MGD while the PHE department is able to dig out only 50 MGD. The rest 15 MGD is covered by enforcing the ‘rationing of water’, where residential colonies get supply on alternate days or after three days.
Sources said that under the project, 100 cusecs of water from the Chenab will be diverted at the Ranjan lift station in Akhnoor, 30 km from Jammu. It will be treated in the filtration plants on the banks of the river and carried through huge pipes till Muthi, 25 km from Akhnoor town and 8 km from the city centre, for distribution.
Under phase I, 250 million litre daily (MLD) will be lifted to cover the proposed population of 25 lakh by 2031. In phase II, 250 MLD will be lifted to meet the requirement of 37 lakh people in 2046.
Proposed in late 1980s, the first detailed project report was formulated in 2007 when the PDP-Congress coalition was governing the state. Later, the detailed environmental assessment report had led to the cancellation of funds by the Asian Development Bank in 2013-14.
Already suffering due to the discriminatory provision of the Indus Waters Treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1962 restricting J&K from using the water of its river, the scheme could help the authorities to meet the growing needs of the expanding population. The glacier-fed Chenab originates from upper Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh and passing through erstwhile Doda district is joined by several streams before entering Pakistan at the International Border in the Akhnoor sector.
Stopping of trucks on Sgr-Jmu highway: Mutton, fruits, vegetables dealers suffer huge losses
Srinagar, Apr 23: The mutton, vegetable and fruit dealers Tuesday claimed that they have suffered losses worth crores due to routine stopping of vehicles carrying these items by the traffic police on Srinagar- Jammu national highway.
The dealers said that trucks carrying livestock and other items are being stopped at various junctions on highway without any reason.
As per the dealers, the practice is prevalent from a long time, resulting in the escalation in the prices of essential commodities including mutton, vegetables and fruits.
General Secretary, All Kashmir Mutton Dealers Association (AKMDA), Kashmir, Mehraj-ud-din Ganie said that for the last three months, the truckers ferrying livestock to the valley are facing difficulties while travelling on Jammu-Srinagar national highway.
“For the last almost one week, 150-200 trucks have been stopped at Udhampur’s Jakhani area, resulting in loss to the tune of Rs 1 crore daily to the mutton industry, “he said.
Ganie added that “we have nothing to sell as our stocks are over.”
“We have taken advance from the customers, who require mutton for marriage purpose. We were not able to give consignments to them. If stock didn’t reach at an earliest, we won’t be able to provide consignments for next two days as well, “he said.
President, Jammu and Kashmir Goods Transport Companies Association (JKGTCA), Mohammad Sidiq Ronga admitted that truckers are being stopped for no reason.
“Attempts are being made to shatter our economy. The traffic police are stopping our trucks everyday. Usually trucks carrying goods reach Kashmir from Delhi in 24 hours but now it takes three to four days,”he said.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Traffic, J&K, Alok Kumar said that “landslides at Manki Morh have been causing disruption in the traffic movement.”
“Earlier, we allowed traffic to move towards Kashmir but it resulted in congestion .Once congestion is over, we would allow them to proceed, “he said.
Meanwhile, traders at Fruit Mandi Parimpora are planning to go indefinite strike from Monday 29.
The Mandi comprises more than 300 shops and around 3000 people are directly associated with it for earning their livelihood.
President, New Kashmir fruit Association Parimpora Bashir Ahmad said that they have called an indefinite strike from Monday 29. “Every day our fruit and vegetables- laden vehicles are stopped unnecessarily in Udhampur by police. Fruits have short life and get destroyed due to stopping of our vehicles on highway. We understand that Losses are inflicted deliberately, the president claimed.
He said that though they raised the issue many times with the top authorities but no heed has been paid in this regard. “Now we have decided to shut our business till our problem won’t be resolved,”
He said that they are not satisfied with the assurances given by the government and therefore they have decided to go for strike.
He claimed that due to unnecessary stopping of vehicles, the traders at fruit mandi are losing crores every month. “Deliberately our trucks are being stopped in the Udhampur region. We have seen that when a truck offers money to the police, only then they allow them to move towards Kashmir,” Bashir Ahmad claimed.
He further alleged that even on Sunday when traffic was not allowed on highway, they received several vegetable and fruit- laden trucks from Jammu, and “they told us that they paid money to the police who later allowed them to move”.
Sources said that supply of vegetables and fruits could be hit, triggering a price rise, if the strike begins and continues.
The supply of vegetables, fruits such as onions, Potato, Mangoes, oranges, Grapes, chillies, cauliflower, cabbage and tomatoes is largely dependent on this mandi.
ECI’s assurances over fool-proof security have fallen flat: Mir
Srinagar April 23: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President and party candidate from Anantnag parliamentary constituency, G A Mir Tuesday conveyed his gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag and hoped that the people of other districts will follow suit with great enthusiasm.
In a statement issued Mir also expressed serious concern over the lack of security arrangements in Anantnag, saying that the fool-proof security as was assured by the ECI were not visible on the ground, describing it as a lack of concern on the part of ECI.
Mir has expressed gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag, saying that he was pleased to observe that the day has passed incident free, which was matter of enormous pleasure for Congress party.
Taking a jibe at ECI for lack of security arrangements in the district during polling, Mir said the required security arrangements were not seen on the ground in the Anantnag. The assurances of ECI with regard to fool-proof security arrangements have fallen flat, which was a matter of serious concern and should not be repeated in coming phases in South Kashmir, he said.
Mir urged upon the ECI to look into the security aspect of south Kashmir and ensure that fool-proof security arrangements are put in place to ensure free, fair and incident free elections, he added.
Geelani’s son questioned by NIA in funding case
New Delhi, Apr 23: Nayeem Geelani, son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, appeared before the National Investigation Agency for questioning in connection with a case related to funding of groups and separatist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said here.
Nayeem Geelani, who had been evading questioning by the NIA for long, appeared on Monday and a detailed questioning took place on Tuesday.
Geelani’s questioning comes days after the NIA quizzed moderate Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umer Farooq in connection with the same case. The NIA probe seeks to identify the chain of players behind the financing of militant activities, stone pelting on security forces, burning down of schools and damaging of government establishments.
The case names Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), the front for the banned Lashker-e-Taiba, as an accused. It also names organisations such as the Hurriyat Conference factions led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the Mirwaiz, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Dukhtaran-e-Millat.