Kulgam Ring Road Project

A project conceived of , designed and implemented in an unplanned manner can only be called a half baked effort leading to nowhere except wastages , cost escalations and upsetting of projections leading to abandonment and thus failure of the concerned project. Detailed Project Report must invariably carry with it, the assured availability of adequate funds and the manner of disbursements on stage wise completion basis. Had these basic ingredients taken care of fully in respect of Kulgam ‘sRing Road Project , it would not have been in doldrums even after a decade of its start . The problems confronted by the said project is that of non availability of funds , as usual , an issue which took a special turn following abrogation of Article 370 and Jammu and Kashmir becoming a Union Territory by virtue of which, compensation to land owners whose land is acquired by the Government for the project, have to be paid under the Central Laws and not the one , under the erstwhile 86 year old state law . In other words, as much as three times the compensation of the land becomes payable to the land owners effective October 31 , 2019 compared to under the old State law which got automatically repealed. In addition to it, the ”affected” people have got to be rehabilitated adding to the overall cost of the project.
Since, perhaps, new developments post October 2019 were never envisaged at the time of the start of the project coupled with the already existing problem of funds shortage , the project appears to have been shelved although it still carries the tag of being ”vital”. Now that, the hopes with the Road Project had been many especially of the residents of the area , they complain of various difficulties faced by them on account of its non- completion. The examples of the Fruit Mandi and the District Hospital facing each other are there where number of visitors keeps on increasing day by day, traffic too having grown substantially which creates all the mess especially at peak hours of the day. Hundreds of trucks entering and leaving the Fruit Mandi virtually choke the traffic system . That could have been fairly addressed by the completed project of the said Ring Road.
Talk to the patients, Doctors and other residents who visit the Hospital , they complain about the difficulties of different hues especially in respect of the congested road getting haywire and blocked . We need not go into types of difficulties in details any more to highlight the importance of this project but wonder as to why in most of the cases, quite a few projects have been meeting the same fate . Leaving aside all problems and humps faced by this project , the question is as to how it could be completed now. The standing problem of land compensation and settlement of the affected people as per entitlement under the relevant (Central) Lawsplus the major remaining part of the incomplete work on the project must be attended to simultaneously in order not to have the already spent amount getting squandered away as also ensuring that more time for its rehabilitation and revival was not taken as with each passing day , cost escalation would be more steep.
We would reiterate to evolve such a mechanism by which projects started with much hype are not approved at all without doing all the relevant ground work , perusing and scrutinising all technical feasibility and economic viability and the source or the budgeted (ear marked) funds . It must be remembered that public funds spent to the extent of half stage of completion or part of the project, is tantamount to total wastages as end use or utility thereof gets frittered away.