J&K embraces futuristic technologies to construct new Panchayat buildings

Rs 14.70 cr pilot project proposed for Jammu, Sgr distts

Bivek Mathur

JAMMU, Nov 28: In a significant leap towards cost-effective and innovative construction, the Jammu and Kashmir Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department is set to revolutionize its infrastructure landscape by adopting the cutting-edge Precast Large Construction Panel (PLCP) and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) technology for the construction of new Panchayat buildings in the Union Territory.
Precast Large Construction Panel (PLCP) system consists of various precast elements such as walls, beams, slabs, columns, staircase, landing, and some customized elements that are standardized and designed for stability, durability, and structural integrity of the building while as Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) concrete panels are made by mixing concrete with a foam material known as expanded polystyrene. The buildings constructed using this technology (EPS) are resistant to fire, water, and pests, providing a long-lasting solution for building structures.
This initiative, recommended under the Global Housing Technology Challenge-India (GHTC-India) by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, marks a strategic shift towards sustainable and efficient construction methods.
As per official sources, the J&K Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department has initiated the process of tendering for the construction of 49 Panchayat Ghars-35 in Jammu and 14 in Srinagar-under the new technology with an estimated budgetary allocation of Rs 14.70 crores under the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) scheme.
In Jammu District, the 35 Panchayat Ghars would be constructed in Bhalwal Block’s Doomi, Gharota Upper-B, Raipur Lower, Domana A, and Kote Lower A Panchayats, Khour Block’s Taroti, Narayana Upper, and Platan Panchayats, Bishnah Block’s Sehora A, Kheri-B, and Salehar Lower Panchayats, Bhalwal Brahamana’s Jadh Panchayat, Marh’s Galwade Chak, Gajansoo, Ranjitpur, Sari Rakwalan, and Karloop Panchayats, Mandal Phallian’s Surey Chak, and Kirpalpur Panchayats, Nagrota’ Kana Chargal Lower, and Pargalta Panchayats, RS Pura’s Kotli Gala Bana (2 Panchayat Ghars), Badyal Brahamana, Rangpur Sadrey, and Chak Bala Panchayats, Mathwar’s Ranjan Lower Panchayat, Dansal’s Nagola Panchayat, Miran Sahib’s Basantpur Upper, Meshian Gazipur Kullian, Bansultan Lower, Nihalpur, Simbal Lower, Makhanpur Gujjran, and Tanda Panchayats and Suchetgarh’s Flora Panchayat.
In Srinagar District , the 14 new Panchayat buildings under the new technology would be constructed in Harwan’s Dara-A, Dara-B, Faqir Gujri-A, Saidpora, Theed-A, Theed-B Panchayats, Khonmoh’s Khonmoh-C, Balhama-A, and Balhama-B Panchayats, Qamarwari’s Panzinara-A, and Panzinara-B Panchayats, and Srinagar’s Nowgam-A, Nowgam-B, and Lasjan-A Panchayats.
As of 2022, J&K comprised a total of 4291 Gram Panchayats, with 2109 in the Jammu Division and 2182 in the Kashmir Division. Of these, 2762 Gram Panchayats were already operational, leaving 1529 awaiting construction.
Thus, the Union Territory’s budget for the year 2023-24 proposed the phased construction of an additional 1500 Panchayats, with 500 already sanctioned for development by the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department.
“Of these 500 Panchayats, some are already under-construction in different districts of the UT, using the existing conventional technology while as 49 new have been proposed to be constructed using the advance technology,” Director Rural Development Department Jammu, Mohammad Mumtaz Ali, who is holding the additional charge of the Director Panchayati Raj, said.
He said that 250 Panchayats were previously sanctioned to be developed in the year 2018-19. Of them, the Director Rural Development Jammu, said, “183 have been completed and 67 are under-construction.”
“After the construction of these 750 Panchayats, we will issue the tenders for the remaining 750 Panchayats to be constructed in the UT later,” he added.
Describing the new technology as cost-effective and time-saving, former Director Panchayat, Khalid Majeed, said that the 49 new Panchayat buildings would be constructed in Jammu and Srinagar districts under a pilot project before a broader rollout across other districts.
“This technology, involving use of some pre-fabricated structures for constructing the new buildings will definitely equip the J&K Panchayati Raj System with the requisite infrastructure in a time bound manner,” he hoped.