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Community participation key to flood mitigation: Javaid Mustafa Mir

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Vehicles to be barred from plying on river embankments

SRINAGAR, MARCH 17: Minister for Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Floriculture Department, Javaid Mustafa Mir Saturday reviewed the flood mitigation measures.

The meeting was attended by Chief Engineer PHE Kashmir, Abdul Wahid, Chief Engineer I&FC Kashmir, Mohammed Shahnawaz, Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Vikas Kundal, Director Disaster Management Department Aamir Ali, Sub Divisional Magistrate Srinagar Reyaz Ahmed Beigh, besides Superintending Engineers and Executive Engineers of I&FC and PHE Department.

The Minister directed that proper structural designs should be adopted by Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) for flood protection works and that no loaded vehicle should be allowed to ply on the river embankment or enter into the river bed.

He directed Chief Engineer I&FC to ensure that permanent barriers are constructed on embankments, and under no circumstances trucks, tippers or any other carriage vehicle should be allowed to move on river embankments, which are not designed for carrying such loads.

He asked the Engineers of I&FC to ensure community participation for enforcing these instructions by making people aware of the risks and explaining the safety benefits of these barriers, and to empower the people of the localities to enforce these instructions in the interest of their own safety.

Minister conveyed instructions to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to confiscate any load carrier that is found parked or plying on river embankments, or inside the river bed.

Javaid Mustafa Mir appealed the general public to help I&FC department to locate weak embankments and also inform about violations so that immediate remedial measures are taken before the rainy season.

He directed that wherever earth-filling is necessary for embankments, proper compaction, as per specifications should be followed by I&FC. He took strong objection to the indiscriminate sand extraction being carried out and directed that the same be stopped immediately. He asked that proper engineering assessments should be carried out to reduce the vulnerability of the embankments for any future high discharge and flood situations.

The Minister directed Chief Engineer PHE to ensure that water supply lines are not laid inside the river embankments, since maintenance of these pipes result in excavation and damage to the embankments. He asked the PHE Department for making phase out removal of the pipe lines from the embankments.

It was pointed out that the natural drainage of the river Jhelum has been encroached upon at a few places and issued instructions to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir for immediate action. He directed Addl. DC Srinagar and SDM Srinagar to immediately depute the concerned Revenue Officers, alongwith I&FC teams and Police personnel to remove all such encroachments.

He also directed that shoal depositions, which have narrowed the span of the river, should be removed forthwith. The Minister was informed that the Global tenders have been invited for conducting the River Morphology Study of Jhelum and Tawi. Quality Cost Based (QCB) bids have been shortlisted by JTFRP, which have been sent to the World Bank for review and are likely to be finalised soon. The study will help understand the morphology of these rivers, starting from their catchment areas, provide digital elevation models and suggest immediate flood mitigation remedial measures required to be taken.

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