GOI admonishes JK Govt on PMGSY failure
Of Rs 2658 Cr Projects, Only Rs 765 Cr Spent In 3 Yrs: Jairam Tips Off Omar
Srinagar, Sep 26: In a significant development, the Government of India’s Ministry of Rural Development has picked holes in implementation of a vital centrally-sponsored scheme in Jammu and Kashmir, revealing that at least 900 habitations identified under the programme were yet to be covered despite the availability of money.
In a letter, addressed to the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has expressed displeasure over poor implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)—a fully–funded centrally-sponsored scheme aimed at providing all-weather road connectivity in rural areas.
“During my visit to Srinagar on August 21st 2011 the Chief Secretary and other senior officials implementing the PMGSY brought to my notice that about 900 habitations, out of the total habitations identified under Core Network, are yet to be covered,” writes Ramesh in the letter, copy of which is with Greater Kashmir.
The Core Network, as per the scheme guidelines, is the network of all the rural roads that are necessary to provide basic access to all the habitations. Basic access, as per the scheme, is defined as single all-weather road connectivity to each habitation.
Ramesh writes that under the PMGSY, J&K has presently Rs 2658 crore worth sanctioned projects (for about 5111 kms of road length). “However, the implementing department has spent Rs 359 crore during 2009-2010 and Rs 297 crore during 2010-11. During the current financial year about Rs 450 crore has already been released to the state government. The expenditure so far has been only Rs 109.2 crore,” he writes.
Besides asking the state to prepare Detailed Project Reports on account of uncovered habitations, Jairam has informed the state that the “absorption capacity of the implementing agencies has to be strengthened before more projects are sanctioned.” “Otherwise cost escalations of the projects will become burden on the J&K Government,” he writes vide letter No [DO 24/VIP/OG/M(RD) Dated: September 16,2011.
Jairam has made a request to the Chief Minister to “consider increasing the number of Programme Implementing Units and strengthening the existing units.”
This is not for the first time that the J&K Government has cut a sorry figure on its poor performance with regard to implementation of the centrally-sponsored schemes. In the past three years, a number of evaluation reports, prepared by the Planning Commission of India, have pointed to poor implementation of and irregularities in different centrally sponsored schemes, including Indra Awas Yojna, Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Programme, Integrated Child Development Scheme and others.
As per the website of the PMGSY, the scheme was started in December 2000 as a fully funded Centrally Sponsored Scheme to provide all weather road connectivity in rural areas. The programme envisages connecting all habitations with a population of 500 persons and above in the plain areas and 250 persons and above in hill states, the tribal and the desert areas.
The J&K Government, according to sources, has failed in identifying and preparing maps for areas to be taken up under the Core Network.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 26 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 26 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 27 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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