Transit Accommodations for migrant employees in Valley
Parl Panel too had asked for gearing up construction
JAMMU, Feb 28: The Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Department has failed to meet the deadlines fixed by the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for construction of Transit Accommodations for the Kashmiri migrant employees in different parts of Kashmir valley. However, the officials are holding the 3rd COVID-19 wave responsible for the delay despite the fact that there was no major restriction on the movement of men and machinery during this period.
The Lieutenant Governor while reviewing the functioning of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Department in a meeting held at Raj Bhawan on July 17, 2021 had fixed the deadlines for the completion of transit accommodations for Kashmiri migrant employees across the valley.
While directing for pre-poning the targeted timeframe for completion of the ongoing construction works, the Lt Governor had set November 2021 as new timeline for completion of Transit Accommodation at Ganderbal. Similarly, he had passed directions for the completion of construction work at Shopian by March 2022 and at Baramulla and Bandipora by November 2022.
“Timelines need to be adhered to for the completion of construction work of Transit Accommodations and any official found responsible for delays shall be taken to task”, the Lieutenant Governor had maintained, adding “tenders for the upcoming works must be prepared in consultation with stakeholders for smooth and early execution of works”.
“The deadline of November 2021 for Transit Accommodation at Ganderbal is already over but the work has yet not been completed in all respect”, official sources told Excelsior, adding “similarly, the concerned agencies engaged for the construction work are unlikely to meet the deadline of March 2022 for the completion of Transit Accommodation at Shopian as only one month has left but work on several components is yet to be completed”.
They further said, “in such a situation how the agencies would be able to meet the deadline of November this year for the completion of Transit Accommodations at Baramulla and Bandipora remains a million dollar question”.
When contacted, some officers of the Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Department, while admitting that deadlines fixed by the Lieutenant Governor have been missed in respect of Transit Accommodations at Ganderbal and Shopian, claimed, “at present the work is going on at a rapid pace and hopefully by the end of current year the projects will be completed in all respect”.
In response to a question, they said, “the situation caused by the COVID-19 led to the delay in meeting the deadlines”. However, sources said, “there was no restriction on the movement of men and machinery during the 3rd COVID wave keeping in view its mild intensity as such the delay on this ground cannot be justified in any way”.
The delay in the completion of work on the Transit Accommodations is also notwithstanding the fact that a Parliamentary Standing Committee in the month of December last year had asked for speeding up the construction work.
The Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, led by Congress Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma had pointed out that the construction process had been slow. The Committee had noted that in total around 2,200 Transit Accommodation Units will be available for Kashmiri migrants in the near future but the process of constructions of more than 50% was still at nascent stage.
The Committee had suggested that the besides expediting the process, the Government should monitor it regularly so that Transit Accommodations are made ready without any further delay.
“All the concerned officers of the J&K Government should monitor the construction work after regular intervals so that work is completed as expeditiously as possible and Transit Accommodations are made available to the migrant employees”, sources stressed.