It can no longer be conjectured that even after a decade, out of the social welfare sector projects numbering 17, not even one is, as on date, a reality to provide the requisite facilities to the underprivileged sections.Can this be attributed to sheer slackness of the executing agencies or the utter reckless approach of the top bureaucrats under whose jurisdiction such projects were falling? The matter assuming criticality, finds no fixing of any timelines even now. The aim of such projects was to provide hostel facilities to large number of students of under privileged sections of the society and better facilities to aged and infirm as also the destitute children. Perhaps, those in charge took it so lightly that they were nursing the proverbial if the sky fell, they could catch larks but the era of accountability is gaining ascendancy and responsibilities could be fixed.
Why no timelines have been fixed even now for completion of these projects which have intrinsic noble and benevolent aims and objectives? Construction of 100 bedded OBC boys hostel at Degree College Pulwama and 209 bedded OBC boys hostel at Islamic College of Science and Commerce Srinagar was sanctioned during 2008-09 financial year and the work was allotted to Public Works Department and Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation at a cost of Rs. 325 lakh and Rs. 679 lakh respectively. Even after a decade, these projects have not been completed by the executing agencies which speak volumes of the casual approach.
Similarily, construction of 50 bedded SC girls hostelat Government Degree College, Ramnagar and 100 bedded OBC boys hostel at Government Degree College Doda was sanctioned during the financial year 2012-13 but their completion is nowhere in sight. Construction of 50 bedded Bal Ashram at Mandi Gurgullian in Samba was sanctioned during 2011-12 financial year at a cost of Rs. 172.11 lakh but till date, the work remains incomplete dueto reasons better known to the executing agency and the Government. Same fate is that of 50 bedded SC boys hostel at Government Degree College Kishtwar and 100 bedded OBC girls hostel at Government Degree College Reasi. The fate of those ones sanctioned in 2008-09 and 2011-12 is still hanging in balance. The executing agency, JKPCC is also soft paddling on the execution of Rs. 973 lakh worth project of providing composite old age home at Ghaink in Bhalwal area in the outskirts of Jammu. The same position haunts the 100 bedded OBC boyshostel at village Ghaink in Bhalwal and renovation of Working Women Hostel at Roop Nagar Jammu.
Another construction agency of the State — Jammu and Kashmir Police Housing Corporation is also soft-paddling on the execution of four projects which were sanctioned in 2016-17 which include 100 bedded OBC girls hostel at Government Degree College Kupwara, 100 bedded OBC girls hostel at GDC Delina Baramulla, construction of office complex for Women Development Corporation at Bemina and one stop centre at Srinagar.
The state of a sort of inflexion on the part of the top authorities in the Government looking after the projects like under reference especially when the likely beneficiaries are students belonging to under privileged groups of the society, the women, the old aged etc is totally unacceptable. Depriving students of the hostel facilities even after huge expenditures on these projects during the past several years speaks only the lack of seriousness and a deficit of the sense of responsibility on the part of the authorities and the project execution agencies. We would like to know the cogent reasons of a seemingly inexorabledelay of as many as six years in construction of 50 bedded Bal Ashram at MandiGurgullian in Samba. Is there any attempt, now, to bid adieu to the vicious cycle of delays, no timely decisions, no timely funds flow, nothing like adhering to timelines, cost escalation and suffering of the people. ?
Are resources constraints coming in the way ? If that precisely is the main reason, then at the outset,arrangements for allocation of funds should have been the foremost task. Even if in matters of dispensation of elementary facilities under social welfare schemes, laden with humanitarian and noble objectives, are subjected to the fate of uncertainties and suspense, it is all the more reprehensible and those found having deliberately or recklessly caused such delays must be held accountable.