STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: A Division Bench (DB) of the State High Court comprising First Puisne Judge Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Sindhu Sharma on Saturday directed the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Jammu to place before the Court record of last five years discharge of water during monsoon in both Niki as well as Badi Tawi. The Division Bench further directed Deputy Advocate General K.D.S. Kotwal appearing for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Department to produce the Map showing the topography of the area. These directions were passed by the Division Bench in a PIL filed by inhabitants of villages Barjala and Khandwal (Niki Tawi Area) through Gurdev Singh, son of Mehtab Singh, resident of Khandwal and Ghulam Nabi Sheikh, son of Mukhta Sheikh, resident of Barjala seeking directions to the Commissioner/Secretary to Government of J&K, PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Department to release funds amounting to Rs. 793 lakh so that the restoration works of infrastructure damaged during flash floods of 2014-15 and 2015-16 be executed. Earlier, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocates Rahul Raina, Supriya Chouhan and M. Zulkarnain Chowdhary appearing for the petitioners drew the attention of the Division Bench towards the last order dated November 20, 2018 whereby the Division Bench had directed that the State Authorities shall explain circumstances, differential volumes of water being discharged in the Niki Tawi and Badi Tawi. Besides this the Division Bench had also directed that I&FC Department will file a status report with regard to the steps taken for managing the waters in the Niki Tawi and Badi Tawi. It was submitted that in the latest status report filed by the Chief Engineer I&FC Department Jammu it is clear that there is discharge of 90 per cent of the water in Niki Tawi whereas less than 10 per cent water is discharged in Badi Tawi. Advocate Ahmed submitted that few years back Niki Tawi was just a small canal provided for irrigation purposes and later major flow of the Badi Tawi was diverted towards the canal and named as Niki Tawi and most of the water was diverted in it. It was submitted that every year the flash floods create devastation in the area with the result more than 45 Villages get affected/ disconnected during rainy season. Advocate Ahmed submitted that in order to give undue favour to some “Sharks” who have encroached big chunks of State land the maximum water has been diverted into Niki Tawi. Advocate Ahmed submitted for the just disposal of the instant PIL it would be appropriate in case I&FC Department Jammu is directed to produce the record of discharge of water in both Niki Tawi and Badi Tawi during monsoon for the last five years. On the other hand Deputy Advocate General K.D.S. Kotwal appearing for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Department submitted that regarding differential volumes of water the difference in Bed level exist along the cross section of the River Upstream of existing Barrage under construction, where the River Tawi bifurcates into two streams called Niki Tawi and Badi Tawi. As a result of difference in Bed level, more discharge towards the Niki Tawi is there in comparison to the discharge of Badi Tawi.
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