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Dr Jitendra Singh holds high level meeting with top J&K officials to discuss Devika Project

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh today held a high level meeting with top officials of J&K including Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta, Principal Secretary Housing & Urban Development Board Dhiraj Gupta among others in which details of Devika project were discussed.

Dr Jitendra Singh appealed to the concerned authorities to take all the sections of society into confidence, so that everybody can share collective pride in the fact that the North India’s first- of- its- kind project is coming up in Udhampur and it has to be brought up in a manner that in future it is seen as a role model for the entire region.

Recalling his visit to the Devika project site in January this year, Dr Jitendra Singh said, he had expressed disappointment at the slow pace of work but unfortunately the second wave of COVID has also been a challenge. He, however, hoped that now that things have been streamlined to get it executed with better coordination between executing agencies, it would be possible to complete the project by the beginning of next year.  

Referring to reports about the alleged lack of coordination between contractor agency and the engineering wings, Dr Jitendra Singh said, after the last meeting, a fine had been imposed on the contractor and the authorities had given assurance that they would ensure optimum coordination in the execution of work.  At the same time, the Minister insisted that any compromise in the quality of work will not be tolerated by any means.  

Offering his input on the basis of his technical experience, Chief Secretary Arun Mehta asked the Chief Engineer to ensure technology neutral mechanism and at the same time he also assured free flow of funds from the Government to ensure uninterrupted and timely completion of the project.  

The work on the Rs190 Crore project under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) started in March 2019. Under the project, bathing “ghats” (places) on the banks of the Devika River will be developed, encroachments will be removed, natural water bodies will be restored and catchment areas will be developed along with cremation ground.

The project includes the construction of three sewage treatment plants of 8 MLD, 4 MLD and 1.6 MLD capacity, sewerage network of 129.27 km, development of two cremation ghats, protection fencing and landscaping, small hydropower plants and three solar power plants. On completion of the project, the rivers will see reduction in pollution and improvement in water quality.

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