J&K to seek one-time Central funds for about Rs 4000 cr worth projects

Many works abandoned due to cash crunch

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Aug 25: The State Government has so far identified projects to the tune of nearly Rs 4000 crore, which were held up for want of funding, mainly due to cost overruns and other reasons and would now be approaching the Central Government for one-time special package to complete the projects on the ground that lot of funds have already been incurred on these projects and if left incomplete, the cost will go in the drains.
Official sources told the Excelsior that during the past few years, a number of projects had to be left incomplete by the State Government in the absence of any source of funding as their cost had overrun due to delay in completion and different agencies of the Centre, executing the projects, were not ready to take further work on them as there was no clarity of their funding.
“Some of the projects were taken up by the State Government but not completed as executing agencies were asked to wait for the funding, which was never arranged from any quarters due to lackadaisical approach of the State and the concerned Departments,” sources pointed out. Also, there were a good number of projects which were taken up without the requisite approvals which were also required to be completed to save the large expenditures already incurred on them.
Majority of projects had suffered due to delay in their completion, leading to cost overrun.
Few days back, former Governor NN Vohra had asked the Government Departments to work out detailed list of all the projects across the State, which had been left midway for want of funds. The projects could be around Rs 4000 crore, as per the rough estimates but their cost could even go up with the passage of time.
“The State Government would be approaching the Central Government for one-time funding for all the virtually abandoned projects with the plea that funds already incurred on them would be lost if the projects were not completed,” sources said, adding that State was likely to assure the Centre that the projects would be completed within the specified timeline and there will be no cost overrun.
The State Government, according to sources, was expected to offer the Central Government that it too was ready to contribute its share in the projects or even take up some of them in the State sector.
The State Government could seek inclusion of some of the projects in the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP), which has already gone up from Rs 80,068 crore to Rs one lakh crore due to cost overrun of some of the projects in both Central and State sectors. The Centre had in November 2015 sanctioned Rs 80,068 crore worth PMDP for Jammu and Kashmir. Some of the projects under it were taken in the Central sector and others in the State sector. In both the sectors, a number of projects have overrun the cost, which has taken total amount of the PMDP to over Rs one lakh crore.
The Government was confident that the Centre would come to the rescue of Jammu and Kashmir and fund its incomplete projects for benefit of the local people on the ground that the State Government was not in a position to fund all the projects on its own due to financial constraints.
Former Governor N N Vohra had asked various Departments to urgently prepare a comprehensive State-wide list of all development projects which have been pending for years for want of the required financial resources resulting in speedily growing cost overruns. He had called for an assessment of the total funds required for completing all such projects within the next 2 years.