“ There is nothing new in world except the history you do not know.” – Harry Truman

Fazili says the National Building Construction Company Limited (NBCCL) drainage project can prove disastrous for Old city

(Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili, 68, was born in Srinagar. He received his early schooling from the Government Middle School, Nowhatta, Srinagar, and from M.P. High School, Baghi Dilawar Khan in Srinagar. Mr. Fazili completed his F.Sc. from the Sri Pratap College in Srinagar, and received his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Annamalai University with honours grade. He joined the J&K government service upon graduation and steadily rose up the ranks to the position of Chief Engineer at his retirement. He managed a number of important infrastructure projects during his government service, including the Model Town Chrar-i-Sharif, Lower Jhelum Hydro Electric Project, Solid Waste Disposal Scheme Srinagar City, Circular Road Project Srinagar City, etc. He has numerous publications to his credit, including Srinagar the Sun City, Our Ancestors and Saints of Kashmir, etc., which were presented in seminar and symposia. He writes for various journals and is presently working on the Jhelum Valley Civilization.) 

Disastrous Drainage Project for Srinagar

Srinagar: The government’s plan to save the twin capital cities of the state from sewerage disposal has forced experts to raise an alarm as they express apprehensions of mass destruction if the plan was put into effect.

Pertinently, the state government with the purpose of protecting capital cities from ‘sullied’ water approved a huge amount of rupees of 133 crore in the year 2007 for the mega project and handed over the work to National Building Construction Company Limited (NBCCL), however, experts believe that the project might prove detrimental for the historic old city as the city may become prone to frequent flooding.

Interestingly, the government has so far released near about ninety crores for (Greater Srinagar Sewerage Project) which has bewildered experts who believe that the executing agency (NBCCL) is ‘incompetent ’ in performing such tentative works.

“I can only say that if the government really pushes with this project there are possible chances of flooding the old city as the executing agency is unaware about the topographic conditions of the valley. The company has no advance technology to carry out the work on such a sensitive project,” Former Chief Engineer, R &B, Mohammad Ashraf Fazli told Kashmir Images.

He said that the spreading pipes had been done on precarious manner including laying of mud mats under the joints of pipes, maintaining the gradient at invert level with leveling instruments, refilling in layers with proper compaction, testing the cube strength of the laid concrete / steel according to BIS specifications.

“The government rather than handing over the project to NBCL should consider the Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED) or Drainage Circle Srinagar for the project as both the departments were well aware about the topography of the region,” Fazli cautioned.

“There are possible chances of ‘cataclysm’ as 3 -4 days continuous rainfall might drown the entire old city. Around 50 thousand house drains in Srinagar city are expected to connect with single drain and the base water will be collected by a 60 MLD Sewerage Treatment Plant installed at Noorbagh area on the city outskirts,” claimed Fazli.

President Contractors Coordination Committee (CCC) Farooq Ahmad Dar said that the NBCL has faced lot of problems in the implementation of the project of which the Soura link road is a glaring example.
Dar said that if the project was not handled according to the topographic conditions an inch of difference might be disastrous for old city which will imprecisely floodit in no time.

However, official sources confirmed that 60 percent of work of 60MLD Sewerage Treatment Plant has been completed after the state government under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JLNURM) scheme gave a green signal for the project in 2006.

Experts said that the effect of inappropriate planning would cover most of the city areas under its clutches including Nallahmar, Alamgari Bazaar, Lal Bazar, Soura and Gojwara.