PMGSY: Poor implementation reflects JK’s phased failure

700 road schemes await completion; Govt keeps missing deadlines

UMER MAQBOOL

Srinagar, Oct 24: Belying the J&K Government’s claims on the pace of developmental works, nearly 700 road projects cleared for the State under the centrally-sponsored rural road connectivity program—Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana—are awaiting completion.
 According to official documents, 685 road projects are yet to be completed out of 1318 schemes sanctioned for Jammu and Kashmir under the PMGSY in the first seven phases since its launch in 2000. About 633 schemes have been completed so far.
 Pertinently, the Centre has sanctioned 1852 road schemes in eight phases of the program including 1318 in the first seven phases. Recently, the Union Rural Development Ministry had cleared 534 road schemes at the cost of Rs 1248 crores to connect 115 habitations under the scheme.
 In Phase-1, all the 36 schemes connecting 37 habitations in JK have been executed at the cost of Rs 21.55 crores.
 In Phase-2, the Government of India had sanctioned 66 schemes for linking 99 habitations but only 54 schemes have been completed so far.
 While the first two phases of the program were implemented by the State’s Rural Development Department, the remaining were executed by the Jammu and Kashmir Rural Road Development Agency (JKRDDA)—the project implementation unit of the PMGSY.
 According to figures, although 67 schemes meant for linking 101 habitations were cleared under Phase-3, only 48 schemes have been completed till date.
 Against 108 schemes cleared for linking 165 habitations in Phase-4, only 92 have been completed.
 But there are large-scale pending schemes in the 5th, 6th and 7th phase. In 5th phase, 143 schemes were sanctioned but only 47 completed.  Likewise against 465 and 494 projects sanctioned under 6th and 7th phase, only 259 and 97 schemes have been completed respectively.
 Insiders in the JKRRDA said there are backlogs mainly due land acquisition and clearance from the Forest Department. “Frequent meetings called by the higher ups of Roads & Buildings Department have failed to sort out the issues,” they said.
 According to them, “leniency towards contractors” who have failed to complete the task within the stipulated time is also contributing towards the poor implementation of the scheme.
 “Many works have been left half way or executed at a snail’s pace by contractors but higher authorities are acting as mute spectators towards the erring contractors as if they are hand-in-glove with them,” they said.
 “Originally as per the guidelines of Ministry of Rural Development the works sanctioned under phase 7 were to be completed by 2013. But there are no chances of meeting the deadline. In first six phases, actual deadline for completion of road projects also the same fate.”
 According to sources, the transfers of engineers from the Project Implementation Unit are also affecting progress of the scheme. “The engineers deputed to JKRRDA are provided specific training as per the requirements. Once they are transferred it consumes lot of time to impart training to new staff,” they said.
 When contacted the Minister of State for Roads & Buildings Javaid Ahmad Dar said that State Government has taken up several initiatives to speed up the work under the program.
 “But there are some hindrances like problems with contractors, land disputes and court disputes. Besides, problem of alignment also arises in some works,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST




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