JAMMU: The Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) is working on an ambitious project of Integrated Forecasting System for Jhelum and Tawi rivers to build Disaster Risk Resilience besides working on creating a database of river morphology of the two rivers.
The project is part of the World Bank aided $250 million Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP) launched in Jammu & Kashmir after the devastating floods of 2014.
In this regard, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ERA, Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah on Friday interacted with the Team Leaders of various consultancies across the globe engaged for execution of the World Bank Funded Project in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and reviewed the progress achieved so far through Video Conferencing.
The consultancies include Regional Maritime Security Inc(RMSI) from India, Eptisa Servicios De Ingenieria S.L. from Spain and Aqualogus-Oiltech from Portugal.
During the interaction, Team Leader of RMSI apprised the CEO that the main objective of the project-Multi-Hazard Risk Management is to build Disaster Risk Resilience through carrying out in-depth analysis of hazard risk from principal hazards affecting the geographical area; Setting up Web-based Disaster Risk Database (DRDB) to support development and mitigation planning; Setting up an Integrated Operational Forecasting System (IOFS) for hydro-meteorological hazards (particularly Flood and Drought) and provide real-time forecast and warning; Conduct training and capacity building to utilize the above platforms and models; and Maintenance and support for DRDB and IOFS for one year after the installation.
Expressing strong concern over the delay caused in the completion of the project, Dr. Abid Raheed instructed the RMSI to complete the Integrated Operational Forecasting System (IOFS) at the earliest for which he fixed a deadline of June 2020. He said now the winters are over and the whole area is approaching the snow melting summers, the project should be completed by the time so that the administrators and policy planners can plan their strategies much more efficiently.
The Team Leader of Eptisa Servicios De Ingenieria S.L. Pvt. Ltd., David Sargent engaged for the study of Jehlum River Morphology joined
the interaction from Australia and apprised the CEO about the Inception report and data collection report that has already been submitted. Currently, the Team Leader informed, his Consultancy is working on the Hydrology and Hydrodynamics Morphology process. After the completion of Evaluation of Flood and Risk Mitigation and Feasibility Study a Detailed Project Report will be prepared for Flood Mitigation, the Team Leader informed the CEO.
Dr. Abid asked the Team Leader of Eptisa Pvt. Ltd. to submit an Interim Project Report by May 2020 so that it is subjected to further evaluation.
Deputy Team Leader of Aqualogus-Oiltech Engg (JV) Pvt. Ltd. Serigio Costa and Contract Manager Miguel Silva engaged for River Morphology studies for Tawi river Basin joined the interaction from Portugal.
They also presented an updated report on the project assigned to them. The CEO also asked them to expedite the work on the project so that it is completed at the earliest and put for further evaluation and execution.
It may be recalled here that as a consequence of 2014 floods the Government of J&K through Department of Economic Affairs, Union Ministry of Finance has taken a credit of $ 250million for the restoration of critical infrastructure, roads, restoration of urban flood management infrastructure, restoration and strengthening of livelihoods and the strengthening of disaster management capacity of the State.
The most critical component of the project has been the objective of strengthening the disaster management capacity which inter-alia includes the river morphology studies, multi-hazard risk assessment, hydro meteorological infrastructure upgradation and the setting up of Emergency Operation Centres.
Earlier, Director Planning and Coordination Iftikhar Ahmad Hakim apprised the CEO about the bid evaluation report for Hydro Meteorological Action Plan (HMAP) which has already been submitted to the World Bank.
Senior officers and engineers from Kashmir also attended the interaction through video conferencing.