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J&K Irrigation Dept wastes Rs 3.67 crore in construction of water storage tanks

Last Updated on April 1, 2021 at 7:36 pm

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has suffered a massive loss of Rs 3.67 crores because of mismanagement while construction of water storage tanks in J&K by Irrigation and Flood Control department.

Official documents show that to facilitate irrigational facilities to farmers for agricultural activities in Tehsil Handwara and Kupwara, the Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) Division of Handwara planned three projects for construction of 27 storage tanks in Brinyal Rajwad, Natnussa Kandi and Rajwad at an estimated cost of Rs 26.42 crore (13 tanks in Natnussa Kandi at an estimated cost of Rs 11.08 crore; 13 Tanks in Rajwad at an estimated cost of Rs 10.80 crore and one Brinyal tank at Rajwad at an estimated cost of Rs 4.54 crore) under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) in 2013. It was expected that these projects will be executed within two years.

Documents show that 11 out of 27 storage tanks didn’t require acquisition of private/ Forest land. Only one storage tank which was to be constructed was fully functional.

The government funded Rs 9.90 crore from 2013 to 2019 to the Division which spent Rs 6.43 crore till March 2019. Even though the department had Rs 9.90 crore, they couldn’t utilise an amount of Rs 3.47 crore which is 35 per cent of the total allotment. Still, only one storage tank was completed out of the 27 storage tanks.

Nine storage tanks were planned to be constructed even without getting clearance from the Forest Department. They spent Rs 3.37 crore from 2013 to 2019 to construct these nine storage tanks which were not even completed and only two of them were semi-functional. Therefore, the department wasted Rs 3.04 crore on seven incomplete and non-functional storage tanks.

Rs 7.80 crore were set aside for construction of 11 storage tanks for which no private or forest land was required. Rs 3.06 crore were spent from 2013 to 2019 for construction of ten storage tanks. One of them could not be constructed because of land dispute. Only one storage tank out of ten storage tanks was properly functioning and six were semi-functional. Moreover, other three storage tanks can’t even function partially even though Rs 63.19 lakh were spent on these tanks.

Two of these three storage tanks were abandoned after spending Rs 43.59 lakh. Gunsnar storage tank could not be constructed because its location was close to an army ammunition depot for which they could not get clearance and the alternate site chosen for this storage tank Kinjaldoori Nichama could not pass soil testing.