|Canal await de-silting since decades, authorities in slumber|
|Peculiar case of J&K’s canal which falls under Punjab’s jurisdiction |
|EARLY TIMES REPORT|
JAMMU, Apr 8: Around five kilometres long Kashmir Canal, which physically falls in district Kathua but has its administrative control in the hands of Punjab’s government and the latter has failed to de-silt it for the last over five decades, turning it into not more than a garbage dumping nullah.
The Kashmir Canal, whose intake points starts from river Ravi in Lakhnapur area and end at Chukandar feeder (5218 point) has not been de-silted by any authority for the last over five decades, given the issue of administrative control. Moreover from Chukandar feeder the Kathua canal begins which fall under the jurisdiction of Irrigation department Kathua. “In records, the Kashmir canal falls under Punjab Irrigation department and even the employees of Punjab irrigation department used to man the canal till recently.
But since the construction of the canal, de-silting was not done by the Punjab government due to which uprooted trees, garbage and silt has accumulated in various portions of the canal, reducing its carrying capacity”, a senior citizen of Lakhnapur said.
Apart from dumping of garbage and silt, the banks of the canal have also suffered damages at certain points further impacting its capacity. Sources further informed that a few days back the Punjab Irrigation Department has cleaned up the silt accumulated near the Madhopur barrage, from where two more canals of Punjab start.
“Though the Punjab authorities have lifted silt and other material from Punjab’s side but on J&K’s side they didn’t clear the silt, leaving it to block the flow of water towards J&K side”, sources said, adding that due to non-lifting of silt from the mouth of Kashmir Canal, it would ultimately impact the carrying capacity of the canal.
Few days back, Corporator of Ward Number 5 of Lakhanpur Municipal Committee, Darshan Singh cleaned some portion of canal near his residence. By engaging some labourers as well as an earth mover, Singh got some uprooted trees lifted from the canal as well as some garbage dumped in the canal, which was obstructing the flow of water.
“Due to failure of the Punjab Irrigation department to de-silt the canal, whenever the water will be discharged in the canal, large amount of garbage waste, broken trees and silt flows with water, forcing the Irrigation department to spread the water freely to minimize the damage caused by the silt and garbage”, Executive Engineer of Irrigation Department Kathua Anil Gupta said.
On being asked if they have taken up the matter with the Punjab authorities for not-desilting of Kashmir canal for many decades, Gupta said that so far they have not taken up the matter but assured that next session he would surely take up the matter with the Punjab irrigation department for de-silting of Kashmir canal.