Posted on April 20, 2017
By Mudasir Yaqoob, Greater Kashmir
Taking strong exception to slow pace of dredging of river Jhelum, the state government on Monday put the Kolkatta based dredging firm on notice.
Officials said the firm could not meet the January 2017 deadline which was later extended till April 16. However, the firm couldn’t meet the target. .
Official sources told Greater Kashmir that authorities have served a notice to the firm “expressing resentment and displeasure over its performance.”
They informed that the notice was served to the firm on April 12 as it had executed only 20-25 percent of the work assigned to it under contract of Rs 44 crore in 2015.
The added that the decision was taken after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed displeasure over slow progress of Jhelum dredging and “cautioned officials that “responsibility will be fixed if things don’t improve.”
Presently, authorities are exploring other options to ensure dredging . “The contract with the firm ended on April 16. Authorities are also mulling to write to the government that the firm may be blacklisted as well,” said an official, wishing not to be named.
In January 2017, the firm had dredged out only around one lakh cubic meters against the target of seven lakh cubic meters in Srinagar.
Sources said that authorities have also written to the higher ups to “penalize” the firm for failing to meet the terms and conditions of the contact.
Confirming the development, Executive Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control Sartaj Singh said “authorities are looking for other options to complete the dredging within shortest possible time.
“The dredging was aimed to increase the carrying capacity of river Jhelum and allow the quick discharge of flood water. The firm has failed and its performance is negligence,” he said.
“The firm was asking for another extension, but experts and officials vehemently opposed their request keeping in view importance of the project and failure of firm to execute it within stipulated time,” he added.
He admitted that if the project had been completed on time, the chances of floods could have been delayed or avoided.
Experts and one of the officials had opposed the idea of outsourcing the dredging and advocated restoring the dredging wing within department. Official who later tightened the noose around the Kolkata based firm to complete the project on time, was surprisingly attached.
Pertinently, Greater Kashmir has been reporting how the firm has miserably failed to execute the Rs 44 crore project.
Source: Greater Kashmir