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Amid plans for Water Management Committees will GOI probe past misuse of central grants in JK
Previous regimes involved in misappropriation of funds, turning water bodies into cesspools at large
1/23/2020 12:05:44 AM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Jan 22: At a time when union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawatis laying emphasis on a need to create “Water Management Committees” which will help to manage, harvest and distribute water in efficient manner, there are questions over whether the government will ever probe the misuse of hundreds of crores of central grants in the name of conserving the water bodies of erstwhile state.
The central minister on January 21 while addressing people at Barnoti and Hiranagar blocks of Kathua district during his public outreach campaign underscored the need for the greater efforts by the administration for the conservation of water bodies in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, there are serious questions that need an answer from those at the helm about whether the misuse of funds by the previous regimes done in the name of water conservation will ever be probed.
According to the official documents in possession of the Early Times, under state and centrally sponsored schemes, thousands of crores of rupees have been pumped into the protection of various water bodies in Jammu and Kashmir.
MH 3435, under Central Sector scheme Rs 191 lakhs have been spent on Dal. The breakup of the expenditure informs that 34 lakhs have been spent on sewerage treatment works while as Rs.115 lakhs on catchment management works. Further Rs 27 lakh, the authorities claim to have spent on the infrastructure.
Under another scheme under the umbrella of the state sector called MH4217 and the amount spent in 2014 on the protection of Dal by this scheme was Rs.578 lakhs.
Through Prime Minister’s reconstruction program called PMRP, the state government claims to have spent two crore rupees in just one year alone. The state authorities claim that they have spent this amount on acquisition of land within Dal.
As the illegal constructions see no end around this world famous lake, the government claims that it has spent 1.5 crores on rehabilitation and resettlement of people living around the lake.
In a similar fashion Rs.2.72 crores have been used over what the government earlier claimed de-weeding and cleaning of channels around the lake. 1.65 crore was shown as an expenditure incurred upon administrative affairs.
91 lakhs have been used through another scheme in one year called B.S.U.P-JNNURM. Rs.89 lakhs have been spent on sewerage system and two lakh on rehabilitation.
133.57 lakhs have been spent under Urban Local grant in the year 2014 by the state authorities. 1.32 crores were given away as the salaries for the staff while as the remaining amount was shown as the expenditure upon the telephone bills of babus.
Ironically and shocking for many, the depth of Dal lake is now reduced to an average depth of 4.5 feet (1.2 metres) only while as 50 years earlier it was more than 45 feet.
Meanwhile, people at present want the government to at least order an inquiry so that the truth that lies buried under the dark depths of Jammu and Kashmir’s water bodies gets unearthed and those behind such a ruthless misuse of the central grants are brought to the book.
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