JAMMU, July 13: In yet another incident of Government maintaining blind eye towards the embezzlements and mis-utilization of exchequer, the report of District Development Commissioner regarding 16 Water Supply Schemes remaining defunct despite spending huge amount in Bandipora district has been gathering dust since September 2012.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that the issue of these defunct Water Supply Schemes first figured in the District Development Board meeting of Bandipora on July 30, 2011 and then on June 6, 2012. Keeping in view the concerns expressed by the legislators, it was decided that the District Development Commissioner Bandipora would constitute a committee to examine the matter and furnish the report.
Accordingly, a committee comprising Chief Planning Officer, Bandipora, AEE Irrigation and JE R&B Division Bandipora was constituted and the committee after conducting detailed inquiry furnished the report along with the recommendations to the District Development Commissioner.
On September 25, 2012, the District Development Commi-ssioner vide Communication No.DDC/ Bpr/ DDB/2 011-12/ 3008-15 submitted the report of the committee to the Commissioner Secretary, General Administration Department, sources said. The DDC even submitted copies of the report to the Principal Secretary, Planning and Development Department, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Commissioner Secretary, PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Chief Engineer PHE Kashmir, Principal Private Secretary to the Chief Secretary and the Special Assistant to Minister for CAPD/Transport, who was the Chairman of the District Development Board, Bandipora.
“However, no action has been taken on the report till date despite the fact that committee, after spot verification of the schemes, was of the considered view that executing agency in connivance with the concerned contractors of the schemes, have mis-utilized the Government funds/public exchequer”, sources said.
“Due to this, the public in general especially the habitations which were to be covered under these schemes have suffered all these years. As such these schemes need to be made functional at the risk and cost of responsible staff and contractor(s) to give a sigh of relief to the public after due estimation of the losses by the Chief Engineer, PHE”, sources said quoting the recommendations of the committee.
The Water Supply Schemes, which remained defunct despite huge expenditure, are WSS Shokbaba, WSS Chunlimulla, WSS Onagam Panzigam, WSS Maderbagh, WSS Sumair Gujar Basti, WSS Checki Mantrigam, WSS Yali Pethkote, WSS Gundpora Gamroo, WSS Bilal Colony, WSS Kulasatri, WSS Zuban, WSS Tangpathri, WSS Kunan Gujjar Basti, WSS Check Arsalan Khan, WSS Chittey Bandey and WSS Mulkihama.
About WSS Shokbaba, the report said, “the Service Reservoir (SR) of 50000 gallon has been constructed and the intake main laid upper ground was lifted by the contractor but never laid again as reported by the locals. The SR was initially put to use by the department, which was reportedly leaking and is presently without proper cover and needs minor repairs”, adding “the losses need to be recovered from the persons responsible for the execution of the work as no report or FIR has been lodged by the department and the huge amount has been mis-utilized”.
“The SR of WSS Chunlimulla with a capacity of 8000 gallons has been constructed and is existing on the ground but needs some minor repairs. The intake mains from Arin Nallah was laid upper ground which doesn’t exist anywhere”, the report said, adding “the distribution system is not available and the inhabitants covered under the scheme are suffering for want of potable water. It seems that huge amount has been expended on the scheme without any proper utilization and check. After completion of SR and other distribution works the scheme has not been properly watched due to which huge losses occurred”.
About the WSS Onagam Panzigam, the report said, “a huge amount on prefabricated pressure filter and installation of electric transformer has been spent unnecessarily”, adding “as far as WSS Checki-Mantrigam is concerned, the SR has been constructed and the intake main from the head side was laid upper ground, which is completely missing. The SR is presently damaged and the filtration plant left half way by the department due to the land dispute”.
According to the report, similar is the fate of other Water Supply Schemes but no action was taken by the department till date.
When contacted, Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma said, “I have recently gone through the report of the District Development Commissioner Bandipora and this is a very grave issue, which needs to be looked into seriously so that erring officers and contractors don’t go scot free”.
“I have instructed the Administrative Department to examine the report and put a note so that future course of action could be decided”, he said, adding “either the high-level departmental enquiry would be ordered or the case would be referred to the Crime Branch/Vigilance”. He, however, said that decision would be taken very shortly.