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2,323 projects pending since ‘90s for Rs 3,500 cr

Srinagar, Oct 9At least 2,323 developmental projects in Jammu and Kashmir have been lying incomplete for the want of funding, records with the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department show.

The highest number of development projects—1,636—have been pending in the Public Works Department, followed by Public Health Engineering Department’s 243, Rural Development Department’s 147, Education’s 114, and 105 in the Health Department.

A number of these projects had started way back in the ‘90s.

These projects require over Rs 3,500 crore, an official of Planning and Development Department said.

“Their completion is a major challenge for the government,” the official said.

For completion of the projects, the Poonch district of Jammu region requires Rs 1,113 core.

In Kashmir, Anantnag district requires Rs 200 crore, while Baramulla district needs Rs 104 crore for completion of the projects.

The projects have been left incomplete even after the Central government allotted a whopping Rs 80,000 crore funds for development works.

To expedite the completion of the projects, the state government, on September 5, decided to set up J&K Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation for spending up to Rs 8,000 crore on completing unfinished infrastructure projects.

The last week, the ‘High-Powered Committee’ (HPC) for unfunded/languishing projects approved 241 projects across Jammu and Kashmir worth Rs 570 crore to be recommended for funding through newly-constituted J&K Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC).

The projects were approved at the maiden meeting of HPC convened under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary, Finance, Navin K Choudhary.

“Due to a host of reasons, these projects have been lingering for a long time. But now these have been approved for funding through JKIDFC, the officers of the concerned departments will have to ensure that these projects are completed by the next financial year,” Choudhary had said.

Choudhary directed the officers to prepare a comprehensive list of all the projects which are pending in different parts of state due to lack of adequate funding and cost overrun.

It was also observed that some of the projects were not taken up due to procedural delays.