India

Govt, administration, JMC turning Ranbir canal into a drain

Golden yug
[ April 03, 2018 ] Tourism Ministry callousness also responsible for canal deterioration Irrigation and Flood Control department (I&FC) every year as a ritual carries work of Ranbir canal desilting with the ulterior motives. The condition of Ranbir canal and its distributaries with every passing day has only gone from bad to worst owing to callous attitude of concerned authorities and indifferent attitude of state Govt, besides contractors having full support of department dare to undertake work and doing it against the laid down criteria and procedure knowing well they have already given a handsome part of contract money for silencing the lips of all those who were otherwise duty bound to keep their eyes and ears open to wrongdoings and substandard work by raising their voice against mismanagement of this important and vital task. On a reality check it was found at numerous places despite being dried since last two months is full of garbage, medium sized stones, sand and silt raises question about purpose of concerned Minister’s visit other day to review ongoing desilting operations in the Ranbir canal . It is intriguing to note that why Minister was not able to find by using JCB, I&FC department itself got alignment of canal and base badly damaged whereas the work should have been got executed by engaging manpower to avoid damages to canal. Moreover this way few persons would have got work of few days. It seems Minister’s visit was more like a ritual and few residents residing in vicinity on the issue said after formation of BJP Govt our canal has become more dirtier and alleged perhaps money for its desilting is passon to Minister Sham Choudhary. Unfortunately from last couple of years as key officials of I&FC remained more active in taking care of their personal interests, the money meant for its annual cleanliness got siphoned off by those who otherwise were supposed to use the same judiciously to ensure filth and garbage lying inside and outside on banks of Ranbir canal is lifted to maintain its water flow as well as to keep it clean. From last couple of years with regard to its cleanliness I&FC Bosses have adopted desilting at selected places and have no planned programme where to dump garbage lifted from it. Xen heading a Division under whose jurisdiction it falls vide No. JID/1/6353-57 has stated in reply to RTI query that its garbage is dumped by contractors in the vicinity lifted from. In the name of desilting and maintenance of Ranbir Canal and its distributaries, crores of rupees on paper every year shown spent. But on the ground nothing has changed and at places its broken banks at any given time can cause havoc as at places canal water is few inches below to the levels of road passing through. In the recent past Chief Engineer DIQC PN Bali daringly brought to the knowledge of public that I&FC & PHE departments are patronizing few contractors who without doing any work are getting their bills cleared timely and fully. Rajesh Kumar having a shop in Ward-65 adjacent to Ranbir canal informed that annually no one cleans it and showed pathetic condition of same canal passing in front of his shop. Amazingly in the year 2010, an Act to consolidate the law relating to use of water, the measurement, construction, control and management of works with respect to water storage, conservation and protection, the irrigation, water supply, drainage, flood control and prevention, the improvement in the flow of water, the protection and improvement in the physical integrity of water courses, lakes and springs, the safety and surveillance of dams, the establishment of the State Water Resources Regulatory Authority was established for regulating water resources, ensuring judicious, equitable and sustainable management, allocation and utilization of water resources, fixing the rates for use of water and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Sadly like so many other Acts enacted by state Govt, fate of this Act is no better than as expected from inexperienced rulers of time. In the said Act there are provisions to ensure that no one dares to pollute water of Rivers and canals but guardians of provisions of above mentioned Act when for sake of few silver coins themselves allows violators to do the things they wish then in such a situation Act becomes mere an ornamental piece in official almirah of documents and files. It is pathetic to note that neither the Ranbir Canal is cleaned properly nor maintained decently what to talk of beauty of its banks and its conservation. Due to the callous attitude of concerned authorities, the Ranbir Canal could not be developed as picnic and tourism spot despite the fact that the canal has the capacity and capability to be developed as important tourist spot for Jammuites and also for the convenience of all those who visit city of temples in lacs every year. Activist Mrs Anita questioned what happens to BJP’s Vision document wherein it was stated tourism be given priority and claims of making Jammu an independent tourist destiny. She further added Minister Tourism Tassaduq Mufti too is inexperienced and having no knowledge of importance of Ranbir Canal what to expect from him how to get it aesthetically developed and maintained. The corrupt and artful I&FC officials this year adopted a unique method to cheat and to deceive got printed in a newspaper that this year to discourage corrupt practices adopted by I&FC officials along with contractors with regard to desilting of Ranbir canal has engaged machinery of Jammu Municipal Corporation. Sadly this too proved a hoax when contacted on the issue JMC concerned official categorically stated question does not arise of providing our departmental vehicles to I&FC. He further stated that no vehicle under their control was provided to I&FC which again raises a valid question how long key officials of I&FC will indulge in gimmicks instead of concentrating on their job and work. Sadly despite all gimmicks of I&FC facts are in the open who embezzled this year’s funds meant for desilting of Ranbir canal as on day it is still full of silt and garbage. I&FC record of preceding years reads that in the year 2015-16 and 2016-17 a total of 22011 & Rs 45270 CUM silt was disposed off from Ranbir canal and was dumped in the vicinity as advertised within distance of 1 to 5 Km. Chief Engineer KK Magotra was asked to spell out wisdom behind the theory of desilting of canal from Muthi to canal head. He preferred to remain silent on issue where as he was found quoted in the newspapers having the contents not based on facts which further proves his involvement in Ranbir Canal desilting scam. Notwithstanding the fact that Ranbir Canal, lifeline for farmers of Jammu District, also the fact that it not only irrigates nearly 30000 hectares of land, its banks are the only place for Jammuites to have picnic and also an important source to sooth oneself in scorching heat and youngsters enjoy to dive and to have bath in its cool water ignoring the fact that over the years its water has contaminated with the addition of garbage all across its journey from Akhnoor to RS Pura adjoining International Border especially from Domana onwards where due to negligence of JMC number of drains have been allowed to enter canal thus making it more polluted. As per the official record, the historical Ranbir Canal has a length of approximately 60 Km and was constructed in the year 1905 during reign of Dogra Ruler Maharaja Partap Singh and an amount of Rs 48.48 lacs was spent on its construction. Ranbir canal starts from left bank of mighty River Chinab adjacent to Akhnoor bridge and runs parallel to Jammu Akhnoor national highway. Department of Irrigation and Flood Control headed by Minister Sham Lal Choudhary, is duty bound to ensure it’s cleaned properly so that water flows at requisite speed and reaches at the last field where it needs to reach for agriculture purposes.