In a significant development, the public works department has started work on major projects worth Rs 380 crore in the summer capital with funding from Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Financial Corporation (JKIDFC).
In the first phase, the PWD has taken only those projects which don't require funds for land acquisition. "There are projects are languishing for over three decades due to paucity of funds," said a senior PWD official adding that the department has prioritized those projects where there is not huge requirement of funds for completion of these projects.
"After assessment it has come to fore that there are projects where due to delay, the cost of the projects has increased twice the original cost of the project at the time when it was envisioned which is a loss to the state exchequer."
He said that though the funds have not been released under JKIDFC so far, but the work has been started and bill raised.
State administrative council (SAC) in order to complete the languishing projects has established JKIDFC to raise loan of Rs 8000 crore.
"In a first phase we are taking up mostly incomplete bridges and roads where there is no requirement for paying for land acquisition," said Sami Arif, chief engineer, roads and building department.
He said that the work has been started and now in coming month's macadamization of languishing projects would also be undertaken.
The JKIDFC has been authorised to raise a loan not exceeding Rs 8000 crores from various financial Institutions including state/ nationalized banks for completion of these unfunded projects.
These developmental projects, which are at different stages of execution, are either inadequately funded or have been left incomplete due to one or the other reason. Some of them have been languishing for over five years resulting not only in blocking of funds spent on them but also in cost escalation and time overruns.
However according to officials, the major road projects in Kashmir which include road widening of Khanyar-Zadibal-Pandach road link, Syed Meerak Shah road widening where there is huge requirement of funds for land acquisition, have been left out.
A tentative assessment by the planning, development and monitoring department indicated that incomplete projects worth over Rs 10000 crore were at various stages and that over Rs 6000 crore would be required to complete all of them in one go.
The planning department has further analysed that six departments namely PW(R&B), PHE/I&FC, School Education, Higher Education, Youth Services and Sports, Health and Medical Education and Tourism taken together accounted for nearly two thirds of the total unfunded burden. The projects in these six departments alone account for nearly Rs 4000 crore.
The SAC took note of the fact that the completion of these projects in a business-as-usual manner would take over a decade.
Recognizing the need of the citizens for essential infrastructure, it decided to approve a special scheme that would enable nearly Rs 8000 crore of developmental funds to be made available in one go, to be used not only for completion of unfunded/languishing infrastructural projects in the State but also for any other new infrastructure projects, which was a priority for the state