Hanging in balance

08/03/2018

The fate of all flood management projects of Leh has been hanging in balance during the past over seven years due to slackness on the part of executing agency and slow funding from the Union Water Resources Ministry. Moreover, there are grim chances of completion of these projects at least in another half a decade. Following devastating floods of August 6, 2010 which led to death of over 250 persons besides directly affecting around 9000 people in Ladakh, the need was felt for flood protection works in all the major nullahs particularly in Leh, which bore the maximum brunt of the natural calamity. Accordingly, Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for flood protection works along Ney-Basgo, Phyang, Saboo, Igoo and Nimoonullahs in Leh were prepared and submitted to the Union Ministry of Water Resources for funding. Keeping in view the importance of flood protection works, the Union Water Resources Ministry during 2010-11 financial year approved five projects for Leh at a cost of Rs 227.10 crore and asked the State Government to start the work as expeditiously as possible so as to complete the same within the shortest possible time.
However, despite lapse of over seven years not even one project could be completed due of slackness on the part of executing agency and slow funding from the Union Water Resources Ministry, sources said. Against Rs 5941 lakh required for flood protection works along Ney-Basgonullah, only an amount of Rs 1681.30 lakh has been released and utilized till date. Similarly, against Rs 5857 lakh needed for flood protection work along PhyangNullah only an amount of Rs 1750.68 lakh has been released and utilized. For flood protection work in respect of Saboonullah, only an amount of Rs 1766.65 lakh has been released against the total requirement of Rs 4704 lakh while as against Rs 3583 lakh required for flood protection work in Igoonullah, only an amount of Rs 1077 lakh has been released during the past over seven years. Similarly, against requirement of Rs 2625 lakh for flood protection works in Nimoonullah, only an amount of Rs 1048 lakh has been released till date. Against the estimated cost of Rs 227.10 crore, an amount of Rs 61.87 crore was released by the Union Government as a Central Assistance till ending March 2016 but during 2016-17, the Central Assistance was not released by the Union Ministry of Water Resources. Whatsoever may be the reason the State Government should have vociferously taken up the issue of non-release of funds during the past two years with the Union Ministry of Water Resources so as to give necessary impetus to the flood management projects, sources said, adding even the Chief Minister should have sought the intervention of Union Water Resources Minister or the Prime Minister keeping in view the importance of these projects.

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