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March 25, 2019 |

Saving Jhelum

A day after Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, directed the Deputy Commissioners (of Bandipora, Baramulla, Srinagar, Pulwama and Anantnag) some action was witnessed along the banks of Jhelum. The Div Com had directed the DCs to impose section 144 around Jhelum embankments and take strict action against the culprits. A joint task force has been constituted for the purpose. It is a welcome move to save the lifeline of Kashmir, Jhelum, which has been threatened more by pollution than encroachment. A positive aspect in the directions and the fresh spurt of efforts to salvage Jhelum is the involvement of different departments and the concerted effort to clean the river. On Sunday teams were seen visiting the embankments in Srinagar. At some sites officials told the people who extract sand from the river to move their boats. To restore the river, all aspects need to be taken into account. Though the focus right now must be on saving the river from further pollution, other related issues must also be addressed. In Srinagar, from north side of the river, there are drains that empty into it. For instance drains bringing sewage near Sonwar, Indra Nagar, Shivpora, through the gate that connects Chount Koul with Jhelum and several other places have been there for decades. Even if the authorities have been unable to find an alternative, but should the polluted drains without undergoing any treatment reach the river water? There are treatment plants that could be commissioned and installed at specific points, especially when the project is taken under smart city initiative. The skewed approach of successive governments has been to go for cosmetic changes in the city and claim about restoring its glory. Some of these cosmetic measures have been hanging flower pots in the city after Darbar moves here, fresh road markings and installing new lights on the streets. Provided the administration restores Jhelum to its former glory, the government can think of water transportation or even promoting the river tourism. This cannot be fulfilled or realized when the river itself is polluted or its adjacent areas are. There have been times when top admin officials cruised in the boats along Jhelum and felt complacent that the river was still an untapped resource. But that has been the end of it. Parks were constructed at many places at a good cost, and some were later turned into sand filling stations. It requires joint efforts and the step taken is in the right direction. But it needs to be seen how the exercise will be sustained.

 

 

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March 25, 2019 |

Saving Jhelum

              

A day after Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, directed the Deputy Commissioners (of Bandipora, Baramulla, Srinagar, Pulwama and Anantnag) some action was witnessed along the banks of Jhelum. The Div Com had directed the DCs to impose section 144 around Jhelum embankments and take strict action against the culprits. A joint task force has been constituted for the purpose. It is a welcome move to save the lifeline of Kashmir, Jhelum, which has been threatened more by pollution than encroachment. A positive aspect in the directions and the fresh spurt of efforts to salvage Jhelum is the involvement of different departments and the concerted effort to clean the river. On Sunday teams were seen visiting the embankments in Srinagar. At some sites officials told the people who extract sand from the river to move their boats. To restore the river, all aspects need to be taken into account. Though the focus right now must be on saving the river from further pollution, other related issues must also be addressed. In Srinagar, from north side of the river, there are drains that empty into it. For instance drains bringing sewage near Sonwar, Indra Nagar, Shivpora, through the gate that connects Chount Koul with Jhelum and several other places have been there for decades. Even if the authorities have been unable to find an alternative, but should the polluted drains without undergoing any treatment reach the river water? There are treatment plants that could be commissioned and installed at specific points, especially when the project is taken under smart city initiative. The skewed approach of successive governments has been to go for cosmetic changes in the city and claim about restoring its glory. Some of these cosmetic measures have been hanging flower pots in the city after Darbar moves here, fresh road markings and installing new lights on the streets. Provided the administration restores Jhelum to its former glory, the government can think of water transportation or even promoting the river tourism. This cannot be fulfilled or realized when the river itself is polluted or its adjacent areas are. There have been times when top admin officials cruised in the boats along Jhelum and felt complacent that the river was still an untapped resource. But that has been the end of it. Parks were constructed at many places at a good cost, and some were later turned into sand filling stations. It requires joint efforts and the step taken is in the right direction. But it needs to be seen how the exercise will be sustained.

 

 

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