Municipality filling river bed to build bus terminal in Anantnag

ESS AHMAD. Dated: 3/12/2018 3:30:02 PM

ANANTNAG, Mar 11: After the 2014 floods that caused devastation across the valley authorities ordered the dredging of river Jehlum and removal of encroachments and trees from embankments of other rivers and nallas.
These measures were taken following the directions of the high court to preserve the water bodies and avoid the devastation of such a scale in case of floods. However, in Anantnag district, the municipal committee has started filling the portion of Arapath river near Ashajipora, for the construction of the bus terminal surprising the locals and other concerned citizens.
Arathpath river, a tributary of the river Jehlum had caused a major devastation during the 2014 floods in the areas nearby. Later the government in a slew of measures evicted all the encroachments from its banks and also asked the farmers to cut down the trees along the banks of the river. "Seeing the level of devastation the locals had cooperation and removed the trees from the banks of the river. But now one wonders over the wisdom of the authorities who have started filling a huge portion of the river bed for construction of bus terminal," a local resident Gowhar Ahmad said.
Another resident Manzoor Ahmad described the construction of bus stand at the cost of the water body as highly ironical.
"The filling of river bed will cause more devastation than 2014 in case of floods in future. How the authorities who on one hand are spending millions on the dredging of water bodies can choke this river in the name of development. They seem to have learnt no lessons from 2014 floods," Ahmad said.
Though the authorities, following the objection by locals have halted the filling work, but sources in the municipal committee said that the work on the construction of bus terminal on the river bed was started on the directions of the chief minister.
"The construction of bus stand on the river is a part of CMs commitment to decongest the town. The money for the purpose has already been released by the government," sources said.
An official of the flood control department requesting anonymity admitted that the filling of river bed will prove to be disastrous in case of floods.
"We know how disastrous it will prove but it were the top officials of the department who should have shared the concerns with her but unfortunately they are acting as yes bosses to be in her good books," the official said.
Chief Executive Officer, MCA, Shabir Ahmad did not respond to the repeated calls from this correspondent.



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