Regular monitoring of developmental works through ADDCs a least priority for Govt

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, July 29: Though continuous monitoring of developmental works is imperative so as to ensure their timely completion for public good, the successive Governments have failed to properly utilize the services of Additional District Development Commissioners, the posts of which were created exclusively to act as watchdog for the top echelons of the administration at the district level especially on the aspects of fund spending, quality parameters and time-bound completion of schemes.
The necessity to put in place exclusive monitoring mechanism was felt by the then Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad in the year 2006 and accordingly the State Cabinet vide its decision No.106/4 dated May 11, 2006 gave nod to the creation of the posts of Additional District Development Commissioners (ADDCs).
The General Administration Department vide its Order No.726 dated June 8, 2006 formally accorded sanction to the creation of the posts of ADDCs in 12 districts of the State. Following creation of eight more districts, this order was modified and equal number of posts of ADDCs were created.
In the main order, the General Administration Department dwelt on the role to be played by the ADDCs and it was specifically mentioned that these officers (either Senior Scale IAS officers or Special/Selection Grade KAS officers), would carry out monitoring and physical verification of all the developmental schemes including Centrally Sponsored and Special Projects being implemented by different departments in the district with special focus on the developmental schemes carried out by Public Works Department, Public Health Engineering, Irrigation and Flood Control, Urban Environmental Engineer, Power Development, Agriculture, Horticulture, Social Welfare and Health and Education Departments.
Moreover, it was stated in clear terms that ADDCs would conduct intensive touring with the officers of these departments under intimation/approval of District Development Commissioner for at least 15 days in a month to inspect, review and monitor the progress of implementation of the developmental works and schemes in the district.
“However, there is no major focus on monitoring and physical verification of all the developmental schemes and submission of periodical reports mainly because of the failure of the top echelons to enforce the orders in letter and in spirit”, official sources told EXCELSIOR, adding “instead for monitoring and inspection of developmental activities, the services of ADDCs are being utilized for other works although the same was also mentioned in the basic order but not with that thrust as was laid on monitoring and physical verification aspect”.
Disclosing that some District Development Commissioners have been making optimum use of services of ADDCs for monitoring and verification of developmental works, sources said, “in majority of the districts there is no compliance of the orders and instead of facilitating ADDCs in meeting the objective behind creation of these posts, hurdles are created in their smooth functioning”, adding “this can be gauged from the fact that in some districts ADDCs have not been provided with proper vehicles, which otherwise was clearly reflected in the main order issued in 2006”.
“Utilization of services of ADDCs has been left only at the discretion of DDCs and General Administration Department and Planning and Development Department have never bothered to ensure strict implementation of the order of 2006 or to ascertain the steps required to be initiated to empower ADDCs”, sources regretted, adding “instead of ensuring implementation of order in its letter and spirit, the Planning and Development Department is utilizing services of ADDCs only for obtaining verification reports in some projects identified at its level”.
Pointing towards flouting of orders at various other levels, sources said, “the District Statistical and Evaluation Officers, who were kept directly under the Additional District Development Commissioners, are not cooperating with the ADDCs in many districts of the State”, adding “even the Chief Planning Officers, who are supposed to submit all papers and files to the DDCs through the ADDCs in respect of PWD, PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, UEED, PDD, Agriculture, Horticulture, Social Welfare, Health and Education Departments, are openly flouting the directive”.
Disclosing that recently ADDCs were made head of the committees constituted to ensure convergence of schemes with MGNREGA at the district level and implementation of My Village My World activity, sources said, “if the Government really wants to ensure proper and timely implementation of the developmental works, it should implement the order of 2006 in its letter and spirit as scope for improvement remains only at the execution stage and not after the completion of developmental works”.
“The top echelons of the administration should ensure proper coordination between DDCs and ADDCs and periodically review the progress vis-à-vis monitoring of developmental works as physical verification of any project during execution stage is an important ingredient for successful and timely completion”, sources stressed, adding “since spilling over of work on various schemes and projects is a common problem in Jammu and Kashmir, proper utilization of services of ADDCs for the monitoring of developmental works is imperative”.


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