JAMMU: Even after a decade, the project to save the Tawi by diverting 15 big drains directly pouring untreated sewage into it is yet to take off. The PDP-BJP government had declared it a priority project but there has been no effort to fulfil the promise and the proposal is stuck at the tendering stage.
Sources said although tenders had been invited a few months back for the diversion of five major drains falling within the municipal limits of the city, works are yet to be allocated. This has raised questions on the tall claims made by the government to safeguard the river.
A stretch of 30 km passing through the Jammu city is considered the most polluted for the river which originates from the Kali Kundi glacier in Bhaderwah.
“There is total confusion. After signing of the agreement between J&K and the Sabarmati River Front Development Corporation in 2015, the diversion project has been linked with the Tawi lake project,” said a senior official in the Urban Development Department.
The project has now been split into three components — flood management, river conservation and diversion of ‘nullahs’ carrying sewage.
The river revered by the Dogras is a major source of drinking water for more than two million people of the Jammu region but pollution and apathetic attitude of successive governments has brought it on the verge of destruction.
The first step was taken in 2007-08 after the Centrally sponsored Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewable Mission project was being implemented in the state under the then PDP-Congress government. But the proposal remained on paper as no detailed project report was formulated. Even after a change of guard in 2009 when the NC-Congress government took over, the project remained neglected.
Chief Engineer, Urban Environmental Engineering Department, Jammu, Mohammad Hanif Lone said the tendering process was at the final stage and works would be allotted soon.
However, environmentalists say the government is not sincere about saving the Tawi. “We have been hearing about the save Tawi plan for more than 15 years but nothing concrete has been done. There is no sincere effort by anyone,” said Bushan Parimoo, who along with Uttam Singh Chib, had conducted a survey of the river a few years back.(Courtesy:TNS)