Created over 3 yrs back, State Road Development Corpn nowhere in sight

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Sept 20: Created with the formal approval of the State Cabinet over three years back, the Jammu and Kashmir State Road Development Corporation is nowhere in sight despite the fact that it was to play crucial role in improving the road network in this hilly and tough terrain State. Due to this, the previous as well as present dispensation has made the mockery of the highest decision making body.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that approval to the establishment of Jammu and Kashmir State Road Development Corporation was accorded by the State Cabinet in its meeting held on May 30, 2012 in order to give a thrust to multifaceted growth in transport infrastructure especially to promote surface infrastructure by taking up road works and to improve road network by taking up construction, widening and strengthening of major roads and allied structures.
Another objective behind approval to setting up of Corporation was to ensure that this body takes up projects on Build-Own-Transfer (BOT), Build-Own-Operate and Transfer (BOOT), Build-Own-Lease and Transfer (BOLT) basis under Public Private Partnerships as well as major projects entrusted by the State and Central Governments, sources said while disclosing that proposal for establishment of State Road Development Corporation was mooted by the Roads and Buildings Department in consultation with the then Chief Minister, who was also Minister Incharge R&B.
However, no attention was paid towards giving practical shape to the Cabinet decision despite the fact that Planning and Development Department had committed to release Rs 1 crore as Share Capital, sources regretted, adding none from the previous as well as present dispensation paid any attention towards formally establishing Corporation although there was no requirement of creation of new posts and all manpower requirement was to be met through internal deployment.
“The continuous non-serious attention towards giving practical shape to the Cabinet decision is notwithstanding the fact that the Corporation would have to formulate State Road Development Policy for a period of 20 years by constituting a Task Force and establish GIS based Road Information Management System”, sources said.
What to talk of initiating other measures, the previous as well as present dispensation failed to even issue formal orders vis-à-vis allowing Project Organization engaged with the construction of Mughal Road to discharge the initial functions of Corporation and asking Administrative Secretary PWD to initially function as the Managing Director and Chief Engineer Project Organization to function as Additional Managing Director.
The importance of this Corporation can be gauged from the fact that in the Cabinet decision it was mentioned that Chief Minister will be the Chairman of Board of Directors, Minister Incharge R&B Senior Vice-Chairman, Chief Secretary Vice-Chairman and Administrative Secretaries of Finance, Planning, Forest, Housing and Urban Development would be its Directors.
Due to inordinate delay of more than three years in establishment of this Corporation, the objective behind the proposal of R&B Department stands defeated, sources said while disclosing that the Corporation was to commercially develop and exploit land alongside the roads/bridges for development of road infrastructure and allied activities, improve the functional capability of roads and above all undertake construction of bye-passes of major cities of Jammu and Kashmir.
“What was the fun of carrying out detailed exercise and getting Cabinet approval when no follow up action was to be conducted during the last over three years”, sources questioned, adding “the non-implementation of decision is nothing else than the mockery of Cabinet decision”.


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