J&K shows scant regard to yet another Central Scheme, fails to utilize Rs 69 cr

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Jan 16: In yet another testimony of slackness in implementing Central Schemes, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has failed to utilize Rs 69.17 crore released by Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation during the current financial year thereby depriving people of benefits of Swachh Bharat (previously called Nirmal Bharat) Mission.
According to the data of Union Ministry, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR, the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation allocated Rs 103.08 crore to Jammu and Kashmir for rural sanitation during the current financial year (2014-15).
Against this allocation, the Ministry released an amount of Rs 51.05 crore (almost 50%) keeping in view opening balance of Rs 18.45 crore as on April 1, 2014. With this, the total amount at the disposal of State Government for implementation of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Gramin) (previously called Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan) increased to Rs 69.50 crore.
Shockingly, the Government could utilize only Rs 33 lakh as against availability of Rs 69.50 crore up to December 2014 thereby rendering unspent balance of Rs 69.17 crore as on December 31, 2014. Due to State’s failure to expend allocated amount the remaining portion of annual allocation for current financial year could not be secured from the Union Ministry.
Further exposing non-seriousness in implementation of scheme, the data reveals that under Annual Implementation Plan (AIP for 2014-15 financial year) target of construction of 300000 Individual Household Latrines was fixed for the State but it could construct only 2670 up to December 2014 under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin).
Similarly, against target of construction of 530 Community Sanitary Complex, the concerned authorities could get only 14 such complexes constructed up to December 2014.
Under the AIP, target of providing toilet facilities to 1264 schools was fixed but shockingly this facility could be made available only in three schools. As far as toilets in Anganwadi Centres are concerned, the State could not make this facility available even in one centre as against target of 300 fixed for the current financial year.
Indicating that scheme is being implemented with slackness during the past two consecutive years, sources said that in the construction of Individual Household Latrine, the performance of Jammu and Kashmir against AIP Objective during 2013-14 was rated as below the national average and till December 2014 there was no improvement in the performance and the same was again rated as below the national average.
About community sanitary complexes, they said that performance based on the achievements against AIP objectives up to December 2014 has been rated as below the national average.
As far as Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities are concerned, the data said that such activities were carried out only in 15 Gram Panchayats against total 4163 Gram Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir up to December 2014. This is notwithstanding the fact that Ministry had organized five Regional Workshops with the help of Asian Development Bank and guidelines on Solid and Liquid Waste Management were shared with all the States including Jammu and Kashmir.
The Ministry has also rated as below national average and not satisfactory the performance of Jammu and Kashmir as far as entry of data on MIS in the Ministry is concerned. This clearly indicates that yet another Centrally Sponsored Scheme has been taken in very lighter vein by the concerned authorities in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the sources, the Ministry is going to review the performance of the State in implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin in a meeting on January 22, 2015, information about which has already been given to the concerned authorities by the Director Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin, Sujoy Mojumdar through an official communiqué No.S-16011/1/2015-SBM.