*Time-lines not fixed for completion of formalities by deptts
JAMMU, Jan 14: Though over one year has lapsed since the announcement of Rs 80,000 crore worth Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for Jammu and Kashmir yet work on majority of the projects particularly in the key sectors has yet not begun. Even the Government has not fixed project-wise timelines for completion of requisite formalities, which otherwise is an imperative step to make the concerned authorities accountable.
This is notwithstanding the fact that Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti in the month of July 2016 had called for proactive approach to expedite implementation of infrastructure projects under PMDP. She had explicitly told the bureaucrats that focus should be laid on fast-tracking project formulation, meeting guidelines and constant follow-up with the concerned Ministries in the Union Government.
Rs 80,068 crore worth development package was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the month of November 2015 for the overall development of the State. The project has been broadly segregated into three categories—State Sector Projects/project components implemented by State Agencies; Central Sector Projects/project components implemented by State Agencies and Central Sector Projects/project components implemented by Central Agencies.
As per the project-wise details prepared by the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR, there are six major projects of the power sector in the Prime Minister’s Development Package but work on only one has been initiated till date. The work on five remaining projects is yet to be initiated on ground due to time being consumed in preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs), for want of formal sanction from the Government of India and delay in release of funds.
The projects on which work is yet to be started included augmentation of power infrastructure for distribution system; Pakaldul Hydro Electric Project and Mini and Small Hydroelectric Plants, which fall under the domain of Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JKEDA) and Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC).
As far as Public Works (Roads and Buildings) sector is concerned, there are 19 projects under the PM’s Development Package. Out of these, work has been initiated on 8 while as nothing has been done on ground in respect of 8 other projects. The work on three other projects had come to the halt because of unrest in Kashmir valley.
The projects on which work is yet to be started included stretches of roads from Baramulla on NH-1A to Gulmarg, Poonch-Uri, Qazitur on NH1 to Tangdar, Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Goha-Khellani; Zojila Tunnel; Srinagar-Shopian-Qazigund road; Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch road; construction of tunnels at Lachulunga Pass and Tanglang Pass (Manali-Leh Section), Semi Ring Road in Jammu; construction of double lane and Batote-Kishtwar-Sinthanpass-Anantnag road.
The delay in start of work on these projects is being attributed to time being consumed in conduct of feasibility study, preparation of Detailed Project Reports, tendering process and formal sanction from the Government of India.
In the health sector, there are two projects under the Prime Minister’s Development Package—-creation of two AIIMS like institutions and stepping up of support under creation of infrastructure in District Hospitals, Sub-District Hospitals and Primary Health Centres.
While work is going on as far as second project is concerned, even land acquisition proceedings have yet not reached the logical conclusion till date as far as AIIMS like institutions are concerned.
Similarly, three major projects in the tourism sector are passing through the tendering and Detailed Project Reports submission process during the past over one year. These are development of Jammu-Rajouri-Buffliaz-Shopian-Pulwama under Himalaya Circuit and integrated development of tourist facility at Anantnag-Kishtwar-Pahalgam-Daksum-Ranjit Sagar Dam, integrated development of tourist facility at Mantalai-Sudhmahadev-Patnitop circuit and Wullar Conservation.
As far as Housing and Urban Development sector is concerned, there are five projects under Prime Minister’s Development Package but work on four projects is yet to be started on ground because of time being consumed in meeting the guidelines fixed by the Union Urban Development Ministry. These projects are AMRUT, Smart Cities, sewerage and solid waste management and completion of rehabilitation of Dal-Nageen lakes dwellers.
About the higher education and youth services and sports sectors, the document of the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department reveals that work on construction of indoor halls at Pulwama, Kargil, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Reasi, Udhampur and Shopian could not be started till date and tendering process is still going on. Similarly, tenders for modernization of NIT Srinagar are yet to be floated and funds are awaited from the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development as far as establishment of IIM and IIT Jammu is concerned.
With regard to Industries Department, the document reveals that DPR for undertaking Pashmina Promotion Programme has yet not been approved by the Union Ministry of Textiles. Similarly, Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has yet not cleared the proposal vis-à-vis solar off-grid home system/street lights.
“Apart from ensuring proper coordination and regular follow-up with the concerned Ministries of the Union Government, the State Government is required to fix time-lines for completion of formalities by the departments concerned so that work on majority of the projects under the Prime Minister’s Development Package is initiated during the financial year 2017-18 beginning from April 1”, sources stressed.