Funds scarcity hampers construction of Tangmarg Mini-Sectt

A view of incomplete Mini-Secretariat in Tangmarg area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. —Excelsior/Abid Nabi
A view of incomplete Mini-Secretariat in Tangmarg area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. —Excelsior/Abid Nabi

Suhail Bhat
Srinagar, Feb 14: Paucity of funds has stalled the construction work on the Mini-Secretariat in Tangmarg in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district and the administration is mulling to rethink the project before moving ahead.
An official in the district administration said that the project was “too big” for them and certain changes were needed to complete the project on stipulated time. “For last few months there has been no headway in the project and it will take us another two decades to complete the project if the funds flow with the same pace. Better is to rethink the project,” an official said.
To ease the people’s woes, the Government started the construction of Mini Secretariat in the year 2012 so that all the departments can work jointly under a single roof. The work was handed over to Jammu and Kashmir Project Construction Corporation (JKPCC) with a project cost of Rs 41 crores but the scarcity of funds marred the project. “We have only erected the skeletal structure of two floors and rest is yet to be picked up. The Government has released only Rs 3 crores for the project so far. The completion of the project will depend on the flow of funds,” Ishtiaq Malik, who works with JKPCC, said.
Locals lamented that they were expecting speedy redressal of their grievance with the construction of the Mini Secretariat in their area but an alleged abysmal Government has let them down. “We were expecting that the time consumption in inter-department dealings would be cut down by bringing the departments in proximity to each other but authorities have failed the initiative”, Gh Mohammad, a resident said, adding, they were facing numerous hardships as they have to visit Government departments located in different areas.
The locals also charged Government with showing the indifferent attitude towards the issue as the construction work has been left midway without any reasons. “The construction company completed the first floor of the building by the end of 2013 but left it without any reason. After the construction work was left different people are using the incomplete structure for different purposes. Some people park their vehicles in the ground floor of the building and others play cards in its first storey, “a local said, adding the place was frequented by the anti-social elements and that was worrying the locals.
Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Nissar Ahmad Naqash, when contacted admitted that scarcity of funds has hampered the project and assured speedy completion of the pending work. “The Planning Department has not released the funds and the issue has already been raised with the concerned department,” he said.