Funds shortage – a stumbling block

While commenting upon the status of various developmental projects in Jammu and Kashmir, it has unfortunately been noticed that most of these are found to suffer on account of the main reason of what is commonly known as ‘funds shortage’. The question arises as to why are projects conceived and plans prepared at all when the same are not ensured beforehand being backed by assured and earmarked funds. Cash flow requirements are prerequisites not only for adhering to the time schedule of the completion of a particular project but the quality of the work too is guaranteed to a larger extent.
The intricacies of project financing, if minutely peeped into having bearing upon the speed of the working is that to bridge even the time between making expenditures and obtaining finances or funds must be handled very cautiously so that all units feel assured of getting payments in time not to speak of waiting in the purgatory of anxiety and uncertainty for the same. Starting projects with lot of hype, foundations laying ceremonies etc followed by symbolic starting of work is tantamount to a ruse and leads to delays and confusion.
Having said all this, two vital bridges over Sind river in Kangan area in Ganderbal district in Central Kashmir await completion, the work on which was started in the year 2012 with a fixed time line of ‘within four years’ and was expected to be complete in all respects by April this year. Both these bridges were planned with a total project cost of Rs.17.62 crore to connect two far flung neighbourhoods ofKangan Akal and Tangchater to the Tehsil headquarters. In addition, these two bridges were to connect these villages to Leh-Srinagar Highway.Residents of more than six villages are facing hardships as the areas lack all weather connectivity.The work on the project has been suspended by Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation which had been entrusted with the execution work, citing the reasons of non receipt of funds.
Not at the cost of repetition, perhaps are the planners and decisions taking authorities, in absence of assured budgeted funds, expecting some providential windfalls to help these projects seeing the light of the day? In the absence of this remotepossibility, are those funds diverted to bail out the ailing projects which otherwise are budgeted for other purposes, as a last resort? In both these probabilities, elements of faulty planning and flawed paper work coupled with bypassing cardinal formalities appear prominently.
Now, since the matter has been brought into the notice of the Governor, he has issued an order to take the project under Central Road Fund (CRF) along with other languishing bridges with firm instructions to have these projects completed on top priority. The question, again, is that why prompt, timely and appropriate actions are taken under Governor’s rule as compared to under earlier dispensation with the same limited tools and administrative apparatus, when a comparative assessment is made.
We urge the authorities to arrange the restarting of the work on these bridges looking to the fact that the people of the area are suffering as they have to use unsafe makeshift bridges to reach the other side. Moreover, there is no alternative route especially in rainy season as the river swells, and using these bridges is quite risky. Should the situation be allowed to reach that far so as to virtually abet suffering residents to stage protests and block Srinagar Leh Highway as they have resorted to such methods to be heard on many occasions in the past too?