Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma has called upon the engineers to ensure installation of water meters in all commercial establishments besides timely collection of revenue for the current financial year.He also directed the concerned for intensifying the campaign of collection of water usage charges from all categories of consumers as per the prevailing rates fixed by the State Water Resources Regulatory Authority (SWRRA).The Minister was chairing a high-level meeting of officers and engineers convened here today to review of the performance of PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control Department.Commissioner/Secretary, PHE, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Chief Engineer, PHE, K.K. Gupta, Chief Engineer, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sushil Aima, Chief Engineer, Ravi Tawi Irrigation Complex, H.K. Jerath, State Coordinator, CCDU, Dr. Narinder Butyal, Superintending Engineers, Executive Engineers and other officers of the department from Jammu pision were present in the meeting.
While taking a detailed review of all schemes and Action Taken Report on the decisions taken in previous meetings, the Minister laid stress on completion of all projects in a time bound manner besides judicious use of funds earmarked for each scheme. He directed the concerned to maintain close coordination between sister agencies to clear bottlenecks and achieving better results. He cautioned for any kind of funds persion from one component to other, saying that any violation in this regard will invoke stern action.Expressing concern over constant depletion of water sources and ground water table, the Minister stressed the need for remedial measures to re-charge the existing resources by developing check dams and other conservative measures. He directed the engineers to conduct regular monitoring of water resources and do whatever possible to protect them. He stressed the need for developing at least 10 check dams in each pision in the first instance as a remedial measure. He also emphasized restoration and conservation of traditional water resources like ponds, springs bawlies and nallahs so that these are put to use for other purposes.
While reviewing the rural water scenario, the Minister directed the concerned to further tone up the functioning and frame new schemes under NRDWP for uncovered areas to provide potable drinking water to the rural population. He also stressed on making the role of Village Water Sanitation Committees (VWSCs) more vibrant so that they can contribute to improve the drinking water scenario. He called for close coordination with the VWSCs to address petty issues related to the water supply and improving the work culture at the grass root level. He appreciated the efforts of the department for constitution of VWSCs in all villages, adding that these bodies will help the department in ensuring smooth distribution of water in their jurisdictions, said the Minister.The Minister directed for regular conduct of auctioning of outlived/unserviceable machinery and proper inventory of equipment in every pision. He also called for regular conduct of DPCs in all pisions to remove the stagnation of various categories of posts.
Regarding extraction of minerals from different nallas and rivers, the Minister issued strict instruction to prevent all such unlawful extractions. He said the mass extraction of minerals at different places, particularly along the rivers, nallas and roads is causing great harm to the natural resources and creating flood threats, and hence the engineers must keep a close vigil on the situation and take all necessary measures to prevent unlawful extractions in their jurisdictions.While briefing the Minister about the performance and measures initiated to improve the functioning, the Commissioner/Secretary said that in Jammu pision 1101 schemes have been taken up under NRDWP and 123 are targeted to be completed during the current fiscal. Till ending November, 2013 as many as 26 schemes have been completed and covered 149 new habitations. Besides, 1019 schools have also been provided safe drinking water. An amount of Rs. 1.14 crore has been incurred on these schemes during the current fiscal, he maintained.