River Devika conservation plan yet to take off - watsupptoday.com
River Devika conservation plan yet to take off
Posted 09 Dec 2017 02:58 PM

In the second week of February 2017, an amount of Rs. 170.54 crore was sanctioned by the centre for cleaning and pollution abatement of river Devika in Udhampur under “National River Conservation Plan” (NRCP).
Under the ambitious project, launched by the Union government, river Devika was the first one from Jammu and Kashmir which was shortlisted for the beautification project.
The announcement was received with much jubilation by locals in Udhampur as they had waged a long battle to preserve the holy river. However, even after receiving the much needed push, work on ground zero is yet to begin.
As the work is yet to start, the local authorities are struggling to check the rampant encroachment and pollution along the river bed.
Local residents resented long delay in starting preservation work. Accusing the alliance government of keeping them in the dark, the local residents alleged it is unfortunate that work on the prestigious project is yet to begin even after sanctioning of Rs 170 crores.
The local residents claim that they had no knowledge about the actual status of the project. “All we heard long time back was that experts from New Delhi had visited the banks of river Devika and surveyed the whole area before finalising the DPR handled by the state government. What happened to the DPR, whether it was finalised or still under process, we really do not know anything about it in detail”, the residents claimed.
Posing some straight questions to the PDP-BJP coalition government, the local residents claimed, “We have developed fear whether it was for real or another ‘jumla’ of the BJP led government as they are yet to see any progress on ground zero”. The residents while expressing serious concern claimed due to continuous over flow of polluted water and rise in river bed the general area paints a dirty picture and poses a health hazard.
Official sources claimed that under the conservation plan, top priority has been accorded to capturing and eliminating of raw sewage flow into the river and diverting them for treatment, setting up of Sewage Treatment Plants for treating the diverted sewage, building low cost sanitation toilets to prevent open defecation on river banks and setting up of improved crematoria to conserve the use of wood and help in ensuring proper cremation of human bodies brought to the burning Ghats.

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