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Govt sets up panel to probe lapses in Tawi lake project

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Jammu, Feb 24: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday ordered a probe into the poor execution of the contract of an auto-mechanically operated gated barrage (AMOGB) at river Tawi, also known as the artificial Tawi lake project.

The government had cancelled GR Infra Projects Limited’s contract for developing the artificial Tawi lake here in June last year.

“Sanction is hereby accorded to the constitution of a committee for determining the lapses and fix responsibility in the poor execution of contract of auto-mechanically operated gated barrage at River Tawi,” G L Sharma, Deputy Secretary, General Administrative Department, said in an order here.

A three-member panel of officers, headed by Principal Secretary, Planning and Development, Rohit Kansal, will probe the matter and submit a report to the government in a month, he said.

A revised detailed project report was framed, according to which Rs 51.57 crore will be required to complete the project and Rs 4.97 crore to undo the damages caused due to floods till date, officials said.

The project was launched in 2009 by the Congress-NC government.

It was marred by delays, missing as many as six deadlines, before work came to a standstill in 2018.

The project has seen the passage of two coalition governments — Congress-NC and PDP-BJP — and has drawn flak from the locals.

The State government has spent more than Rs 57 crore on the project in the past decade, after its foundation stone was laid by the then chief minister Omar Abdullah on December 05, 2009.

After missing the first target date in 2012, the contractor missed five other deadlines in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the officials said.

As per the project plan, an auto-mechanical barrage would be constructed on river Tawi, one kilometre downstream of main Tawi bridge. This will help create an artificial lake in Jammu city.

The 1,500-metre-long and 600-metre-wide artificial lake, a first-of-its-kind here, will give a new dimension to tourism in Jammu city, the officials said.

In phase-II of the project, beautification and embankment works are to be taken up under the Tawi River Front Development Project, for which an MoU has already been signed by Jammu Development Authority (JDA) with the Sabarmati River Front Development Corporation (SRFDC). A detailed project report has been prepared in this regard.

As part of the beautification project, a park was inaugurated by former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in the area in 2015.

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