JMC maintains blind eye, fails to provide services to people
Huge expenditure under AMRUT turns out to be unfruitful
JAMMU, Sept 14: In a big question mark on the performance of those at the helm of affairs in the Jammu Municipal Corporation, large number of tractor operated sewage suction machines purchased by spending huge money under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), a major scheme of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, have been lying unutilized in the yard of Urban Environment Engineering Department (UEED) at Narwal during the past nearly two years.
Due to this, on one side entire expenditure has turned out to be unfruitful and on the other side people have been deprived of the services of septage management, which otherwise is one of the thrust areas of AMRUT launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that in order to provide better sewerage facilities and ensure proper septage management large number of tractor operated sewage suction machines were purchased by the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) by utilizing the funds made available to the State under AMRUT scheme about two years back.
As there were space constraints with the JMC, all the tractor operated sewage suction machines were dumped in the Narwal yard of UEED, which functions in close coordination with the Municipal Corporation and mainly looks after the drainage system in the Jammu city, till the time these will be put to formal use.
However, despite lapse of considerable period of time none of those at the helm of affairs in the Jammu Municipal Corporation found it appropriate to make use of these tractor operated machines for the reasons well known to them, sources said, adding due to absolute non-seriousness on the part of Jammu Municipal Corporation the tractors as well as machines have been continuously suffering damages in open in the yard of UEED.
“The height of the slackness can be gauged from the fact that nobody in the JMC ever tried to operate the tractors after regular intervals so as to prevent them from being rusted due to vagaries of weather”, sources further said, adding “it is a matter of concern that on one side the people residing in congested localities are making use of private tractor operated sewage suction machines for septage management on the other side JMC is not utilizing those which were purchased by spending AMRUT funds for the convenience of the people”.
Stating that due to sluggishness of the JMC the entire expenditure made on purchase of tractor operated machines has turned out to be unfruitful, sources said, “had there been no immediate necessity of tractors and machines what was compelling the Corporation to go in for purchase remains a million dollar question”.
“Even those presently looking after the affairs of the Corporation at different levels cannot absolve themselves as they too have failed to initiate any step for utilizing the tractor operated sewage suction machines thereby compelling the people to pay to the private persons who otherwise are charging huge money for the service”, they further said, adding “by not utilizing the tractor operated machines whose number is over 20 the Municipal Corporation is creating obstacles in achieving one of the major objectives of AMRUT scheme”.
It is pertinent to mention here that providing basic services—proper septage management, water supply and urban transport and building basic amenities to improve the quality of life for all especially the poor and the disadvantaged are the basic objectives of AMRUT scheme.
According to the sources, days before his transfer from the Corporation the former Municipal Commissioner had issued clear directions to senior officers of the Corporation for making use of the tractor operated machines for the intended purpose but the same have not been taken seriously for the reasons well known to them only.
“Since people have failed to obtain any benefit of huge expenditure for considerable period of time the Chief Secretary and Financial Commissioner Housing and Urban Development Department should order a detailed inquiry and fix the responsibility so that those creating impediments in passing benefit of AMRUT scheme funds to the people are taken to the task”, sources stressed.