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Work on drainage projects stopped for want of funding

Srinagar, Aug 07: With non-completion of sewerage projects for want of funding, only 40 percent Srinagar has drainage system in place.

A few hours down pour on Tuesday created massive water logging in parts of the Valley. This happened because of poor drainage system in place.

An official of Housing and Urban Development Department said that only Srinagar “40 percent” has drainage system.

“There are several sewerage projects, which have not been completed for the past several years despite missing multiple deadlines,” the official said.

The National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) started work for improvisation of sewerage system under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme in May 2008 and projected its completion in September 2013.

However, the project has not been completed yet. The official said that the project cost was Rs 132 crore, out of which 90 crore have been released.

The centre has not released rest of the funds. The cost of the project has increased to Rs 155 crore and the construction company has stopped the work.

“This project has been left half way for want of funds. The STPs have not been installed, which were to be connected with sewerage system. The NBCC has left the work on STP at Noorbagh halfway,” the official said.

The official said Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED) has written to Planning and Development Department to finalise the project.  “The authorities want to complete the leftover work under another scheme Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).”

Chief Engineer UEED, Mohammad Haneef Lone expects that work on the project would be restarted very soon. “We want completion of the project so that there is improvisation in drainage system,” Lone added.

The state government had taken over hundreds of drainage schemes in Kashmir over the years. Most of them could not be completed due to lack of funds.

Under the centrally sponsored scheme-Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and with the financial assistance of the World Bank, the official said that government expects 90 percent ‘proper’ drainage system by 2021.

“Under AMRUT scheme, the centre has to provide Rs 390 crore in the next five years for drainage system in Srinagar and Rs 300 crore will be from the World Bank project for it,” the official said.

The official said around 500 drainage schemes were started over the years in Kashmir but less than 200 have been completed while work on other schemes have been stopped due to non-releasing of funds.