Srinagar, Apr 10: Jammu and Kashmir is, for the first time, scaling targets for developmental works in road communication sector under various centrally-sponsored schemes, signaling an important breakthrough in this key sector.
“This achievement of our engineers has opened new vistas for progress, employment generation and prosperity in our state. We have proven that we can improve our capacity of utilizing resources and it has become possible because of the renewed enthusiasm of our engineers,” Minister of Public Works, Naeem Akhtar said on Tuesday.
The Minister was speaking during a review meeting of the developmental works carried out by the Roads and Buildings Department in various parts of the state during last year and to discuss the plan for developmental works this year.
During the meeting, the Minister was informed that the state met the eligibility under Central Road Fund (CRF) of around Rs 342 crore last fiscal, which has opened an opportunity to get the fund limit for J&K under the scheme enhanced in coming years.
“The funds can be utilized for clearing liability of held-up works while the government is in a position now to implement the agenda of development in far-flung areas of the state,” the Minister said, adding that the state can lift Rs 1000 crore under CRF or more due to proven spending capacity.
The Minister was informed that under Pradhan Mantri Gram SadakYojna, Jammu and Kashmir used to set a target of laying down 400-500 km new roads. “We are one of the first states to have achieved the target. This year, we will carry out works worth more than Rs 1800 crore under the said scheme,” he said.
Akhtar complimented the engineers from PWD and others stakeholders for ensuring that the state builds capacities and capabilities for a better future. “The fact that the situation remained conducive has helped the government in expanding the ambit of development in the state,” he said.
The Minister said the state will avail more funds under various schemes from the Centre based on the existing performance, “We have got the highest amount under NABARD. Under CRF, 400 km of roads will be laid down while last year it was only 320 KMs. This capacity building will take our state to new heights of progress in coming years,” he said.
Akhtar said Jammu and Kashmir under the leadership of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is achieving new heights of progress and prosperity, and the roads in rural areas, as well as towns and cities, are in for major transformation in coming months and years. He stressed the engineers to ensure beautification of roads by planting more trees and flowers in the open spaces.
He said Jammu and Kashmir has introduced various reforms to improve the systems of governance and infuse a culture of transparency and accountability in the administration, “Reforms like standard bidding document and dispensing with the archaic practices of seeking hard copies of bid documents from contractors will address corrupt practices. We have also improved the capacity building of contractors and from this year their claims will be settled on a monthly basis,” he said.
The Works Minister said the state government is aiming to promote entrepreneurship in capacity building and efforts are being made to remove hassles in this regard. “Our bidding capacities have improved while joint venture process has been simplified to give a boost to developmental works,” Akhtar said.
The Minister told the meeting that the state government has deferred the implementation of the PAO System so as to recalibrate the process of financial transactions with the demands of the new system, “PAO system has been delayed, not rejected. The system is facing some difficulties in implementing it and the obstacles are being removed.
According to the R&B Department’s Action Plan for 2018-19, 22.35 km roads will be built/upgraded under NABARD in Srinagar district while 5 kms will be done under CRF. For Budgam, 37.20 kms and 47.25 kms respectively; for Anantnag, 35 and 57 kms; for Kulgam, 32.13 and 7 kms, for Baramulla, 47.35 and 39 kms, for Kupwara, 30.7 and 38 kms; for Pulwama, 40.85 and 66.75 kms; for Shopian, 22.60 and 11 kms; for Bandipora, 27.95 and 21.65 and for Ganderbal, 16 and 0 km respectively, totaling 312.13 km under NABARD and 292.65 km under CRF.
The meeting was held at Banquet Hall in Srinagar and it was also attended by Commissioner Secretary, R&B, Sanjiv Verma, Chief Engineers of R&B, ERA and PMGSY, senior and executive engineers of R&B and other allied departments as well as the officers of JKPCC and other departments.
Guv admin concerned over slow pace of developmental works
Srinagar, May 25: Expressing serious concern over the slow pace of developmental works in Jammu and Kashmir, the governor administration has directed the heads of departments to remove the bottlenecks for the execution of the works at the earliest.
Funds worth cores of rupees lapse annually due to its non-utilization in the state.
Despite clear directions for the timely utilization of funds, the developmental works suffer mainly due to the lackadaisical approach of the authorities.
An official document accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that the Advisors to Governor, Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary to Finance Department, in a meeting with the administrative secretaries, expressed serious concern over the slow pace of developmental works.
“Principal Secretary expressed concern regarding the pace of expenditure during the first month of current financial, primarily due to the Model Code of Conduct. He emphasized the need to catch up with the lost time,” the document reads.
The Advisors directed all the administrative secretaries and deputy commissioners to point out “issues faced by them” in execution of the works in a time-bound manner.
Chief Secretary directed the deputy commissioners to identify causes of delay in the works in consultation with all the departments and resolve the problems.
“All the Advisors stated that allotment of works on nomination was highly undesirable. Principal Secretary Finance stated that such practice defeats the purpose of actual discovery of price and is against norms and canons of financial propriety, and should be strictly avoided,” the document reads.
Officials also pointed out that the bills are not being furnished on time for the incomplete projects. This was viewed seriously by the senior officers and administrative secretaries were requested to own up these works at the earliest.
Sources said the dismal performance under PMDP was also viewed seriously and departments were advised to identify and remove bottlenecks so that works under the project are executed on time.
Principal Secretary, Finance Department, Arun Kumar Mehta, also wrote to the district development commissioners to furnish the yearly district action plans.
“All district development commissioners shall initiate tendering process immediately after the end of model code of conduct to ensure that process is completed before March 31. The annual maintenance contract should be based on the rate of contract as per laid down rules and regulations,” the order reads.
Kashmir University: Sunday exams as per schedule, Monday’s postponed
Srinagar, May 25: All Kashmir university examinations to be conducted on Sunday will be held as per the schedule while the examinations scheduled for Monday have been postponed, said an official of university.
“All the examinations scheduled on Sunday will be as per schedule. However, the examinations scheduled on Monday have been postponed and will be held on 29 June now,” Controller Examination, Professor Farooq Mir told The Kashmir Monitor.
“We learnt that due to the internet blockade, students were not able to download their admit cards, so we have rescheduled examinations that were held on Monday,” he said.
Kashmir observed a complete shutdown for two day following the death of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, Chief, Zakir Musa on Friday morning. Authorities had imposed restrictions in various parts of the valley and closed all the educational institution will remain till Sunday.
Restore administrative seniority as per recruitment rules: DAK to Govt
Srinagar, May 25: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Saturday welcomed the steps taken by the administrative department of Health and Medical Education (H&ME) department regarding restoration of administrative seniority in health department.
In a statement, DAK spokesperson said the decisions “will instill new energy and confidence among medical officers and consultants.”
“Even though the pace in restoration of administrative seniority is slow, doctors across the state hope that the steps so initiated in last couple of months will be taken to the logical end,” the spokesperson said.
President, DAK, Dr Suhail Naik, as per the spokesperson, said that that the Association has, time and again, demanded the restoration of administrative seniority in health department as per regulations drafted strictly in recruitment rules for appointing such officers.
“In peripheral hospitals it has been observed that it becomes difficult for senior doctors to work under administrative officers, who are junior to them, which leads to indiscipline and unworthy work culture,” Dr Naik was quoted saying by the DAK spokesperson.
The spokesperson said it has been brought into the notice of DAK that some junior doctors “for their vested interests are using their relatives to garner support in front of higher ups so that they can be again re-appointed as administrators in health department.”
“We request the authorities that neither any relative of any doctor nor the general public must influence or interfere in appointing any junior doctor as administrator, this cannot be accepted nor tolerated,” the DAK spokesperson said.
DAK urged Advisor, K Vijay Kumar and Principal Secretary Attal Dullo to further look into the matter and bring some pace in restoration of Administrative Seniority in Health Department as per recruitment rules so that this long pending demand of the doctors is met once for all.
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