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NC expresses concern over delay in restoration of Geer Khul canal at Balhama

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Remove bottle necks in restoration, dredging of canal: Ahsan Pardesi to Divisional Admin

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Thursday expressed concern over the inordinate delay in the restoration of Geer Khul canal at Balhama, Srinagar asking the administration to abjure slackness and initiate required repair works on the canal.

While drawing attention of J&K administration towards much needed renovation of Gheer Khul canal in the Balhama locality of Srinagar, YNC vice president Ahsan Pardesi said, “After 2014 floods, the irrigation canal which is the sole source of water to various hamlets downstream got blocked. The water from the canal used to irrigate nearly 800 hectares of land in the surrounding areas, apart from being used for other household activities. Withholding funds required for undertaking restoration work on the said canal has pushed the locals to wall, most of who eke out their livelihood from the agriculture and allied activities.”

“The entire area is dedicated to paddy cultivation, which requires assured supply of irrigation. However the huge sedimentation in the canal has drastically decreased its carrying capacity thus making it unattainable for the local farmers to feed their large tracts of paddy lands. Any further delay in the necessary dredging and other required restoration works on the canal will lead to desertification of the vast tracts of arable land within its catchment area. It will also have a negative impact on the groundwater levels, if left abandoned,” he said.

The local farmers have from time to time raised the matter at various forums but so far no concrete steps have been taken to address their woes by the divisional administration, Ahsan said adding, “The obtained estimate stands prepared by the concerned, but the agencies assigned to carry out the work have been citing shortage of funds as a main hurdle in the restoration of the canal.  The fate of the funds as were earmarked for the required restoration works on the canal vide Govt order 227PD of 2018 dated 13.06.2018 is also not known. So far not even a penny has been spent on the canal.”

Ahsan Pardesi demanded that Rs 4.97 lac, which is the obtained estimate for the required restoration work, be released immediately and placed at the disposal of district development commissioner Srinagar for necessary dredging and other repairs on the canal.

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