Udhampur: North India’s ‘first’ River Rejuvenation Project of the government, Devika, built at a cost of over Rs 190 crore on the lines of ‘Namami Ganga’, is nearing completion, Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh said today. He said this while reviewing the Liquid Waste Management Project undertaken separately to protect the sanctity of the ‘holy’ Devika River in Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Nilmat Puran written in the 7th century by Nela Muni mentions the Devika River to be a manifestation of the mother Goddess Parwati to benefit the people of Mader Desha that covers areas between river Ravi and Chenab. The river Devika appeared on Shiv Ratri and Lord Shiva himself remains side by side with his consort Uma manifesting himself in the form of Shiv Lingas at eight places alongside the holy river.
During the review meeting, the Minister said, Devika which is considered the sister of the sacred river Ganga, has a great religious significance which is why the Liquid Waste Management Project with the network of pipes and manholes connecting all the households under Devika Rejuvenation Project is being constructed by Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED) to protect the sanctity of it. Out of the 190 crore funds allocated for the project, the sharing of allocation is in the ratio of 90:10 by the Centre and the Union Territory, respectively.
Besides a Liquid Waste Management Project, a Solid Waste Management Project will also be constructed under Devika Rejuvenation Project which is vital in many aspects in protecting the sanctity of the Devika River, he informed and asserted that the role of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), being the representatives of the grassroots level of the society, is vital for the success of major developmental projects. The PRIs present during the meeting raised many issues with the Minister to which the Minister directed the departments to redress the issues in the shortest possible time.
The meeting was attended by the District Collector of Udhampur, Sachin Kumar Vaishya, Additional Divisional Railway Manager of Northern Railways, Baldev Raj, Senior Superintendent of Police of Udhampur, Dr. Vinod Kumar among others.
– global bihari bureau