2 big ticket projects under PMDP see no progress in Kashmir

Two big-ticket developmental projects— the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and the Ring Road— announced under PM Development Package in 2015 for Kashmir have seen no progress so far.

According to an official, during a review meeting chaired by Lt Governor, GC Murmu on PMDP, it came to fore that the AIIMS and the Ring Road projects in Kashmir have seen no progress.

“Out of 54 projects in J&K, 17 under PMDP have been completed or substantially completed. The work on AIIMS Samba has begun while the work on AIIMS Awantipora is yet to start. Similarly the progress on the Ring Road is nil,” the official said.

Interestingly in order to maintain regional balance while allocating projects, the government had announced two AIIMS type institutions in J&K, one each for Kashmir and Jammu regions. Similarly, the Ring Roads too were announced for both regions.

The central government has now revised the deadline for completion of the AIIMS in Kashmir to 2025.

The official said the pace of work in Jammu is better. “Work on AIIMS Samba has begun and the Ring Road project in Jammu has witnessed 24 percent progress in work. But in Kashmir both these projects are non starters,” the official said.

The government of India has approved Rs 1828 crore for AIIMS and Rs 931 crore for Ring Road in Kashmir. “It is not only these two projects, progress of 31 other projects under PMDP is also slow, while a few projects are still in the detailed project report (DPR) stage,” the official said.

Earlier, a report of Union Ministry of Home Affairs had taken note of the slow pace of work under the PMDP which was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in the summer capital Srinagar in December 2015. The financial package was announced after the 2014 flood which led to large scale devastation in the Valley. The package was announced to give fillip to J&K’s infrastructure in different sectors including roads, power, and new renewable energy, tourism, health, education and sports.

A senior official said it was the responsibility of the administration to ensure timely completion of the projects.

“If the work is done at the pace it is desired, then there will be no problem in getting funds under the project as the centre seeks Utilization Certificates (UCs) before releasing further funds,” said the official.