Kashmir unrest: Developmental works come to halt, engineers take rest

Unrest in Kashmir has brought to halt the developmental projects in the Valley.
Kashmir unrest: Developmental works come to halt, engineers take rest
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Unrest in Kashmir has brought to halt the developmental projects in the Valley. Sources said the engineers and technocrats working in various works divisions in Kashmir have virtually become "idle."

Unable to perform any work, according to sources many of the engineers in Public Works Department, Roads and Building Department, Flood Control and PHE "have either gone outside the state along with their families to 'enjoy vacation' or prefer to stay at home."

"Since July, no work on any developmental project has been carried out. The construction of bridges, macadamization of roads, etc., in Kashmir has come to halt in the wake of civilian killings," sources said.

"Attendance in various wings of the PWD is appalling," sources said.

Sources said while the engineers working in Power Development Department make sure to attend offices, "their counterparts in PWD, R&B, Flood Control and PHE are sitting idle."

Sources said the engineers of these departments could have utilized the services of self-help-groups to possibly complete the pending projects.

To mention, several key developmental projects in Kashmir especially in Srinagar including the vital Jehangir  Chowk-Rambagh flyover are facing delays and missing deadlines in view of the prevailing situation. 

Similarly, construction of Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover and expressway corridor in Srinagar city has been abandoned as more than 600 skilled, semi-skilled labourers from outside the state left for their homes leaving the worksites.

Economist, Professor Nisar Ali said, "The state wage bill is Rs 27,000 crore a year, of which Rs 14000 crore is paid in Kashmir alone. If we calculate it, government paid around Rs 2000 crore 'free salary' without any work and contribution of majority of state employees," he said.

A senior engineer in Roads and Building department said that the government "has now ordered that salary of only those employees be released who attend their duties."

Minister for Roads and Buildings, A R Veeri said the work on developmental projects will resume soon. "Government will ensure that the projects are completed on time and there will be complete accountability," he said.

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