Tourism sector projects

We fairly know how devastating floods of 2014 dealt a severe blow to the tourism sector. We also know that it was decided that construction of assets would take place in lieu of the ones damaged but majority of such projects, sanctioned over two years back, are nowhere near completion. If we attempt to go etymologically to find a phrase for the treatment given to projects like the ones under reference, we can term the approach of the Government as one trick pony that only knows to underperform if not totally no  performance at all. In other words, can we ask as to why timelines were not fixed project wise ?That could well be never ignored since that being central to completion of the work within fixed period, rather shortest possible period. At least the Government is aware of the importance of the tourism sector in the economy of this State.
Tourism sector infrastructure suffered massive damage due to devastating floods of September 2014 and based on the recommendations of the State Government, the Union Tourism Ministry agreed to provide Rs.100 crore for permanent restoration of damaged assets. The Central Government all along, has been conscious of the importance tourism sector holds for the state of Jammu and Kashmir and has been showing keen interest in its promotion. Why does the Government appear to be on the fence about how such projects could be completed in time soon after showing a virtual mojoof zeal, enthusiasm and allseriousness? That is proved by the ground realities, as the work on almost all the projects and their sub- components was started with the required face but with the passage of time, the vigour started waning. Not only are projects quite far away from the destination of completion but the tempo, the speed and the pace of the work is far below the up to the mark status.
Accountability should be fixed in such cases and the reasons simultaneously ascertained. Intentional or “chalta hai” syndrome demands a rap on the knuckles to those found responsible for the delays and willful deferments. We have reliably learnt that only 60 percent work has been “completed” on the project known as “development of tourist facilities at SKICC” while no exact status of project titled “development of tourist facilities at Chinar Bag” has been reflected. A phrasenow is seeming to have attained staleness, thatof “work in progress”is metaphoricallyused while the status generally in most of the projects is abject delay,involving besides other things, escalated cost than the projected or planned one.
Another project titled” Development of tourist facilities at Dal Lake” has 70 percent work shown as completed on two components while the worn out phrase “work in progress” is the status of other components. The same is true of another project titled,”Development of tourist facilities in and around Zabarvan Park” where even percentage of the work completed is not made known. The sad state of affairs of similar nature exists in respect of development of tourist facilities at Nehru Park, at Royal Spring Golf Club, KhushalSarLake ,Babademb Lagoon, Athwajan, Nagin and the like.
Referring to the work completed on various projects in Jammu Division, less than 50 percent of the work has only been completed in respect of “development of tourist facilities at Sidhra Golf Course”. The tenders for lighting at Surinsar have been stayed by the High Court but little efforts have been made to get the interim order vacated or modified. In this respect, in most of the cases where the Government or any of its departments are in litigation with others,the reasonable active approach is found wanting in respect of vigorously pursuing the cases especially the ones where stays are granted by the courts.
The elementary works like construction of pathways and toilets have not been completed at Mansar so far. The same is the case with Akhnoor projects. Avoidable dilly dallying approach on the part of the Tourism Department is seen with concern on the project named as “development of tourist facilities at Rajouri, Nowshera and Poonch”.  What has, however, been done during the last two years is completion of work on five components only of different projects like landscaping and parking at TRC Srinagar, eco toilets at Char Chinari, illumination at SonaLank and tourist golf carts at Royal Spring Golf Club has been completed in Kashmir valley while as none of the projects at Jammu has been accorded such treatment.