Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Friday said the state government has shelved the construction of an artificial lake over the Tawi river here as it was not “feasible”. This is the second major project Jammu has lost out on in the three months of the BJP-PDP government in the state.
“The artificial lake project is economically and technically not feasible,” said Sayeed who was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh. “Its water is not like that of the Chenab or the Ravi and it will get filled up in a year,’’ he added on Friday.
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A project for the construction of an artificial lake over Tawi was first conceived during Ghulam Nabi Azad’s rule between 2006-08 and it was supposed to cover the area falling between Bahu Fort upto Sidhra Bridge. However, work on the project started in 2010 and its area got shifted between Bhagwati Nagar to Gujjar Nagar Bridge. The delay in completion of the project also led to an increase in its estimated cost from Rs 23 crore to Rs 70 crore.
Significantly, this was the second major project which Jammu appears to have lost in less than three months under the PDP-BJP coalition government. Earlier last month, people in Jammu had observed complete shutdown in protest against alleged shifting of AIIMS from the region to Kashmir Valley.
About the AIIMS shift, Mufti said that he sees Jammu and Kashmir as one entity and in PDP-BJP’s agenda for alliance, it has been stated that “AIIMS will be given to the Valley while IIT and IIM will be set up in Jammu.” He pointed out that the super-specialty hospital at Jammu will be fully equipped so as to have facilities on par with AIIMS. He even criticised the Congress for trying to exploit public sentiments over the issue. “They had been in power for 12 years, but they did not set up AIIMS in Jammu,” he said.
Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said that they have already met Prime Minister Narendra Modi over an AIIMS-like health facility in Jammu.