Sorry says BJP; PDP says compare us to previous Govt and Governor’s rule
The outgoing Peoples Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party (PDP-BJP) government which governed the State from March 2015 to June 2018 has not completed any project out of the total 28 listed by its Planning, Development and Monitoring Department (PDM) as ‘major projects’.
The PDM department was headed by former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti since she took over on April 4, 2016, as first woman chief minister of the State.
The 28 projects listed as ‘major projects’ were proposed in Power Development; Public Works; Higher Education; Health and Medical Education; Irrigation and Food Control; Housing and Urban Development and Tourism departments.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, PDP leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar said the pace of work under the coalition government needs to be compared with the previous governments along with the pace of work which would be witnessed under the Governor’s rule.
“In some sectors, we have done work in record time,” he said.
BJP State President Ravinder Raina said BJP was sorry for not being able to fulfil the dream of development of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in J&K.
“The lethargic attitude of people in previous government led to non-completion of works on major development projects,” he said adding billions of rupees were pumped by the Government of India (GoI) for J&K’s development.
“Narendra Modi government will have given us more funds had the previous government not been unconcerned about development,” he said.
POWER DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
The plans to electrify the un-electrified villages in the State has also failed as officially nearly 102 villages continue to be without electricity supply.
The Deen Dayal Upadhyay Jyoti Yojna, having a budget of Rs 616 crore, is still stuck in tendering process.
The tenders for 21 districts were floated by the PDD twice, but due to poor response and eight districts — Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Leh, Kargil, Udhampur, Ramban and Reasi - were allotted to Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIIL).
The tenders for the remaining 13 districts were again floated, out of which six belonging to Budgam, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Anantnag, Bandipora and Kupwara got cancelled due to irregularities and are presently under litigation.
The tenders of five districts of the Jammu division, including Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Kishtwar and Rajouri, were also cancelled.
The Restructured-Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Program (R-APDRP) has also seen poor implementation.
The Rs 662-crore programme approved in 2014 for two capital cities and 30 towns would have helped bring down transmission and distribution (T&D) losses to 15 percent from present over 55 percent.
However, in both regions of the State, the work completed is below 50 percent.
As per sources, the equipment bought by the government under the scheme has been catching rust in the department godowns.
The Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) under which 86 towns were included has seen zero percent implementation as per the official implementation report till April 2018.
The IPDS was aimed at reducing AT&C losses, up-gradation of infrastructure, IT-based billing and auditing system and improving collection efficiency.
The PDP-BJP government has also failed to lay underground cabling network at five tourist destinations in the State under the Prime Minister’s Development Programme.
Under phase-I, underground cabling was to be carried out at Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Patnitop and Katra at a cost of Rs 25.47 crore.
The PDD portfolio was headed by former deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Nirmal Singh while it was given to another BJP leader and former minister Sunil Kumar Sharma in 2018.
The PDP-BJP government’s plans to set up two culture universities in the State aren’t even on paper.
Sources in the administration said the proposal was not even discussed in the three-and-a-half-year tenure of the previous government.
Interestingly, the proposal to set up these two universities is on the official website of the Planning Development and Monitoring department which was headed by former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti herself.
Among the new 26 degree colleges proposed by the PDP-BJP government, only one has started functioning at Drass in a makeshift campus building on rent.
The others that were proposed to be setup at Turtuk; Padder; Marh; Kralpora; Vilgam; Qazigund; Eidgah; Langate; Siligam; Chenani; Dongi; Ramkote; Dudu Basantgarh; Mandi; Putshai; Surigam; Thindim Kreeri; Ramkote; Zainapora; Wachi; Frisal; Chadoora; Kotranka; Rajpora; Tulail; Mongri; Vijaypur are yet to even start academic activities.
A proposal has been sent to the Finance department for creation of posts of teachers and other staff for these colleges.
However, the two ambitious projects of setting up an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) at Jammu have seen considerable work.
Both the IIM and IIMC have started functioning from makeshift campuses while land has been acquired for both the projects in Jammu.
HEALTH AND MEDICAL EDUCATION
In the Health and Medical Education department, the PDP-BJP government had listed five medical colleges and two maternity hospitals to be built in the State, however, all the seven projects are yet to be completed.
The medical college at Rajouri is still in the foundation laying stage while the medical college Baramulla has witnessed less than 30 percent construction.
The medical college at Anantnag is also still under construction with just Rs 31 crore released till date from the total project cost estimated at Rs 189 crore.
The medical colleges at Kathua and Doda have witnessed spending of just Rs 1.35 crore and Rs 4.61 crore till date from the Rs 189 crore each for the projects.
Both the medical college buildings are still stuck at the foundation level.
The two 200-bedded maternity hospitals, one each at Jammu and Srinagar, are still to be completed with the buildings in finishing stages currently.
IRRIGATION AND FLOOD CONTROL DEPARTMENT
The Flood Management Plan for the Jhelum and its tributaries is yet to be formulated.
Since 2014 Kashmir floods, the Valley had three stints with a potential flood hitting the Valley again.
The PDP-BJP government has failed to even complete the phase-I of the short-term measures (STM)project of Rs 399 crore while the Detailed Project Report for phase-II of STM is still to be formulated.
The flood protection works on Bonar and Mahumati Nallah are still in progress.
PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
In Srinagar, the 2.5-km long Rambagh-Jehangir Chowk flyover is still under construction with officials in the Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) divulging that it would not be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2019.
The PDP-BJP government had also been going slow on the construction work on grade separator near the Tourist Reception Centre at Srinagar.
Less than 40 percent work had been carried out on the grade separator by the previous government since the project was started under the PDP founder and former chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in 2015.
The semi-ring road projects in both Jammu and Srinagar are still in early stages with land yet to be acquired for both the projects.
In both the regions, the total agricultural land to be acquired for the purpose is above 12,000 kanal and the farmers likely to be affected are seeking adequate compensation, causing further delay to the projects.
The PDP-BJP government also dumped the proposed flyovers from KC Chowk to Janipur and Jewel Chowk to Talab Tillo in Jammu city which were recommended by the Master Plan 2032 for the city.
The four-laning of the Srinagar-Jammu highway has also witnessed slow pace of work on the Ramban-Banihal stretch since the project was started in 2011 with more than 50 percent work yet to be completed on two stretches of Ramban-Banihal and Ramban-Udhampur.
HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
Out of the total 59 projects of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), all the projects are yet to be completed.
As per official figures, work on half of the projects is yet to be started with work being allotted through tenders already.
In Srinagar, the projects include multi-tier Parking at Sheikh Bagh and State Motor Garages, seven drainage projects, three sewerages, one project of water supply, one project of development of pedestrian walkways and footpath and cycle track, one project of intelligent traffic system and three projects for building green spaces.
In Jammu city, the projects include multi-tier parking facilities at Panjtirthi and Peerkho; 19 drainage sub-projects; two sewerages; one project of development of pedestrian walkways and footpaths; one project of intelligent traffic system and one project for creating green spaces.
On the proposed development of the Dal Lake, listed as major planning and development project by the previous government, nothing concrete has been done while the Dal dwellers have been shifting back to the lake from Rakh-e-Arth.
Officials in Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) reveal that the encroachments have gone up while the weeds have been cut from the Boulevard side only which re-grow in few months.
In 2017’s budget session, the State government itself informed that Dal Lake had turned into a city forest with the re-growth of trees.
Another major project under the Housing and Urban Development department was the construction of a Habitat Centre at Jammu, the work on which is yet to be started.
The modernisation of the Jammu Bus Stand has witnessed more than 40 percent completion with Rs 58 crores spent till April 2018 but the project is yet to be completed with deadline put for April 2019.
However, like Jammu Habitat Centre and Jammu Bus Stand Modernisation project, no such project was started in summer capital Srinagar by the PDP-BJP government.
The Housing and Urban Development department was headed initially by former deputy chief minister and BJP leader Nirmal Singh and then by BJP leader and former minister Sat Paul Sharma.
The first phase of Patnitop Ropeway project is yet to be completed with the official deadline for the project being December 2019.
The phase two would still take three years time to be completed.
The PDP-BJP government failed to spend the majority of the funds for development of ‘Anantnag-Kishtwar-Pahalgam-
Another crucial project involved the integrated development of tourist facilities at Gulmarg-Baramulla-Kupwara-Leh circuit.
No major work has been done on this project as well.
The project for development of Suchetgarh border has also not been completed since it was announced in 2011-12 under the Integrated Destination Circuit Scheme of the Government of India.