|G S Asgotra|
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Sept 22: Despite claims of former Irrigation and Flood Control ministers and BJP's stalwarts about completing Tawi artificial lake project, work on the abandoned project is yet to resume even after more than three years.
After assuming power in the state as head of the coalition government of BJP-PDP, then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed while inspecting the project found it "not feasible." The then MoS, Tourism Priya Sethi was present during the inspection.
"However, this announcement made hue and cry within BJP which faced severe criticism from the opposition. To save their face, many BJP ministers later announced that the project would be completed at any cost", said sources.
Thereafter, the then minister for Irrigation and Flood Control, Choudhary Sukhnandan asserted that work on lake project, on which nearly Rs 57 crore had been spent by then, would be resumed "as soon as possible." He had also asserted that he had taken up the matter of Jammu's development with the Union Water Resource Minister, Uma Bharti, "who assured us to provide economical assistance to complete the abandoned project."
Surprisingly, after such a long lapse, nothing has been done so far to resume the work on the prestigious project which was abandoned by I&FC department.
The rhetoric of the BJP leaders can be gauged from this fact that they announced that the Tawi river would be developed on the pattern of Sabarmati river and that a memorandum of understanding was inked with Sabarmati River Front Development Corporation Limited (SRFDCL), and nearly Rs 75 lakh was released to prepare Detail Project Report.
Later, in December 2017, the then Minister I&FC, Choudhary Sham announced that the project would be completed "within four months," but his announcement proved a hoax again.
BJP insiders say that the hollow claims were made by BJP during three years in power, but nothing has been done on ground to complete the abandoned project, be it Suchetgarh Border project, or Ropeway project from Mubarak Mandi to Bahu Fort.