Flood project |Govt spends only Rs 71 cr of Rs 1500 cr in 3 years

Jammu and Kashmir government’s capacity to spend funds on infrastructure projects has come into question as it has spent only Rs 71 crore of the Rs 1500 crore funded by the World Bank for reconstruction of infrastructure damaged in 2014 flood and for enhancing the state’s disaster management capacities.

The deadline for completion of the “Jehlum Tawi Flood Recovery Project” is 30 June 2020. Spending more than Rs 1400 crore in 13 months appears to be tall order given the performance so far.

But Chief Executive Officer of the project, Dr Raghav Langer, said compared to the expenditure of 1.2 per cent six months ago, the total spending at present is 4.5 per cent. “This means the rate of spending has increased,” he said and added that the World Bank had set target of awarding projects worth $100 million till 31 March 2019. “We have achieved the target and sent details to the World Bank,” he said.

Approved in 2015, the project became effective from 19 April 2016. It was to be completed in four years by the Project Implementation Units that had been set up in different departments.

 “The inefficiency of the government is primarily responsible for slow progress of the project. A lot of time was consumed in preparation of detailed project reports.  The tendering process is also very lengthy and hectic,” said an official.

He said frequent shifting of CEOs also hampered progress of the project.  As reported in Greater Kashmir’s Tuesday’s edition, the project steering committee of state government and the World Bank have expressed concern over slow pace in implementing the project.