J-K govt working on flood protection project: Omar
Srinagar, Mar 24 (PTI) Stressing that the state needs to remain prepared for any natural calamity, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said government was working on a "comprehensive flood protection project" to increase the intake capacity of rivers and revive flood channels. "We should be amply prepared and alert to the threats of heavy floods so that we are not caught unaware at the time of emergency," Omar said after inaugurating Rs 21.38 crore River Jhelum dredging project in Baramulla district. He said the government is working on a comprehensive flood protection project to increase the intake capacity of major rivers, strengthen the bunds, revive flood channels and introduce long term and short term measures. He added the dredging operation in river Jhelum is the part of this strategy. "While we feel satisfied by constructing bridges, roads, schools, colleges, water supply installations and similar other development schemes... when we create flood protection like facilities we pray to god that we may not be compelled to put these measures to use," Omar said. The Chief Minister said the importance of dredging of river Jhelum can be visualised from the fact that the first dredger was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru at Baramulla 60 years ago. Expressing dissatisfaction over the abandoning of Jetti Bridge despite expenditure of about Rs two crore on it, he said he had asked the concerned department to prepare a project for completion of the bridge.