Even a period of seven years is equal to mere naught on the part of Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC) and Roads and Buildings Department for completing the work on 11 Polytechnic Colleges in different parts of the state. Not only this, work on creation of vital infrastructure of Youth Services and Sports Department is going on in a lumbering pace.
In order to provide technical education at the door steps of the people, the Union Government in 2011 launched “Sub Mission of Polytechnics under Coordinated Action for Skill Development”. Under the scheme, the State of Jammu and Kashmir got for its 18 districts, which were not having institutions to provide technical education, Polytechnic Colleges. There were directions to the State Government to start the construction work immediately, erect the requisite infrastructure through its own agencies and ensure timely completion. The fact of the matter, however, is that after seven long years, the JKPCC has raised infrastructure of only five Polytechnic Colleges at Samba, Reasi, Kathua, Budgam and Shopian. Those ones sanctioned for Doda, Bandipur, Kishtwar, Udhampur, Kupwara and Shopian are dangling in utter suspense.
The task of construction of 11 Polytechnic Colleges sanctioned in the year 2011 was entrusted to Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC) while raising infrastructure for five Polytechnic Colleges sanctioned in 2012 was entrusted to Roads and Buildings Department. Other two Polytechnic Colleges are sanctioned for Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) at Awantipora and Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) at Rajouri
It is observed, though with dismay, that announcements of and according sanctions to projects of different hue, started with a lot of zeal soon faded into slackness, lack of coordination between different units of administration, mismatch between funds availability and the progress of the works – all resulting in inordinate delays and resultant cost escalations .If the position would have been disappointing only in one or two or more instances, it could have been offset against many more going with full gusto, speed and adhering to timelines but uniformly slackness, sluggishness and absence of coordination and follow up are all in a row to be unfortunately seen in the matter under reference.
In the instant case, no time frame seems to have been specified for completion of work on six polytechnic colleges by JKPCC. Similarly Roads and Buildings Department has completed construction of Polytechnic College at Ganderbal and Anantnag while as work on Polytechnic College at Kulgam, Baramulla and Ramban is yet to be completed despite lapse of six years. Even IUST Awantipora and BGSBU Rajouri have not completed work on their respective Polytechnic Colleges.
In the absence of own infrastructure, these 11 Polytechnic Colleges are being run by the Technical Education Department either from the rented accommodation or from certain Government buildings. As such students have been deprived of required facilities. Not only this, even majority of Polytechnic Colleges are facing shortage of staff. The very purpose of imparting education to students in technical field in these colleges is defeated when even there is no reasonably adequate staff provided.
How can this all not be attributed to lack of interest, lack of an effective policy, lack of planning and lack of absolute professionalism on the part of the administrative units of the Government? Like such an approach around and there being no steps taken to contain such a trend, the question is as to how quality technical education can be provided to the students in the absence of adequate faculty and other staff, proper buildings, laboratories, workshops and other necessary equipment. Is there any provision to fix accountability and the concerned authorities of JKPCC and R&B not being held responsible for delays, deferments, lingering, shelving and finally virtually suspending the work as the infrastructure for these 11 Polytechnic Colleges remaining incomplete looking to a period of seven years even not enough to accomplish the job? Not that many a time, directions are reported to have been not issued to gear up and look sharp in connection with the construction work as a result of the concern shown in various official meetings but monitoring and obtaining periodic status reports followed by remedial solutions are nowhere there.
There should be a provision of conducting monthly audits cum inspections of such works, the reports of which should be perused by the Minister concerned and follow up action should be taken very strictly to discourage the discernible die hard habit of having no regard for timeline.