The Tawi barrage and artificial lake project is in a vicious circle of hiccups; timeframes, deadlines fixed and re-fixed for its completion have made hogwash of associated things as the ground realities have been revealing that the project is just like no one’s baby. The waifish category its management has got reduced itself to raises many questions. The latest about it, as reported is, that the Government is contemplating to terminate contract of auto mechanically operated barrage project on River Tawi in Jammu. The left over job is sought to be entrusted to some new company for which the process of tendering and associated formalities are to take place.
In other words, it means more time, new timeframe and to keep on waiting but perhaps in anxiety, as the element of uncertainty, like always, could be tagged with the new option as well.
When works of critical nature as the one under reference, are allotted to non Government agencies like private firms and Limited Companies, it is incumbent to peruse and examine their financial status and standing and the track record of handling of the types of work going to be allotted. In the instant case, in spite of the Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control while inspecting the barrage work in November last, asking the executing agency to complete the work within four months after many deadlines were jumped, there has been no perceptible progress in the work. The reason cited, now is believed to be the poor financial health of the company, reeling under severe crunch of finances and has no money to carry out the left over work although experts deployed in Jammu are readily available and in the State of readiness.
It may be recalled that the much hyped artificial lake to boost tourism and provide irrigation facilities to farmers are associated and connected with this barrage and no one in the Government, is precise and pointed about its fate, even now. The process of ratcheting up and down in the matter by the successive State Governments has only contributed towards its not coming out of the status of hanging fire for couple of years now, as work was started on it in the year 2008. It is a classical example of administrative lethargy, absence of accountability and rather deficiency of astuteness.
Ending May 2018, an ultimatum of seven days to start the work given to the company by the Minister in charge followed by the warning of seizure of the machinery of the executants agency M/s GVR Infra Projects Limited have proved of no avail the project however as per the last revised deadline was “running late” by two years, resulting finally in initiation of process to terminate the contract. The contract committee is to submit its recommendations to this effect to the Government for approval. How much more time the new process would take travelling from files to notes to suggestions etc, only some divinely forces can foretell.
We are, at the moment, coming out of the realm of pointing out shortcomings and gross lackadaisical approach towards this project by the successive State Governments with an intent only to adopt a holistic approach towards the early completion of the project with special reference to the making of artificial lake which was touted as an “integrated tourism project” to change the destiny of the people of Jammu. The promise by the Government of developing banks of River Tawi on the pattern of Sabarmati River Front of Gujarat may be fulfilled as early as possible to lend credibility to the promises being made to fulfill rather than otherwise.