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J&K to seek central help for completing long-pending projects

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Official panel to coordinate operationalisation of new medical colleges

Srinagar, Aug 09: Governor N N Vohra has asked the State Planning, Development and Monitoring department to urgently prepare a comprehensive state-wide list of all development projects which have been pending for years for want of the required financial resources resulting in speedily growing cost overruns.

He also called for an assessment of the total funds required for completing all such projects within the next two years.

Chairing a high-level meeting this afternoon to review the status of public works projects, Governor observed that after Chief Secretary has drawn up a reliable assessment he would address the Government of India and request for a one-time sanction of a special grant to complete all pending projects and put to use the investments made in these works, said an official handout.

Governor observed that during his recent visits to various districts in all the three regions he had noted that there are, in every district, a number of old projects which have not been completed for want of resources.

“Also, there are a good number of projects which were taken up without the requisite approvals which were also required to be completed to salvage the large expenditures already incurred,” he observed.

Governor asked Chief Secretary to study the aforesaid two categories of cases, involving very large expenditures already made, and advise the kind of systemic hurdles which may be improved to ensure against unauthorised sanctions of building works being made in the future.

He also asked Chief Secretary to evolve a scheme for instituting annual awards to recognise and reward engineers, construction companies and contractors whose work is commendable.

He also called for incentivizing executing agencies for completing developmental projects ahead of the scheduled time while maintaining the requisite specifications and quality of work. Such a move, he said, will go a long way in encouraging best practices in the execution of construction works.

In the context of his review of the upcoming Government Medical College at Doda, Governor asked Chief Secretary to urgently constitute a committee to coordinate all activities relating to the timely completion of the 5 medical colleges which are coming up at Anantnag, Baramulla, Kathua, Rajouri and Doda.

This Committee should over view construction work; timely procurement of medical equipments, engagement of faculty, nursing and paramedical staff. He also asked Chief Secretary to examine the legal requirements for ensuring that a given number of the passing out medical graduates are liable to serve in J&K for a specified period.

Meanwhile, to ensure smooth take-off of the five new medical colleges in the State, Governor N N Vohra has called for putting in place a multidisciplinary committee of officers and experts to coordinate infrastructure and academic issues of these colleges.

Governor has asked the Chief Secretary to urgently constitute the Committee which shall coordinate with the concerned departments various activities related to the new medical colleges coming up at Anantnag, Baramulla, Kathua, Rajouri and Doda.

The committee shall harmonize issues like infrastructure development including construction works, setting up of equipment, hiring of faculty, paramedical staff and academic matters so that the academic activities in these colleges get started any hiccups as per schedule.

Meanwhile, in an important announcement, the Governor called for instituting annual awards for engineers, construction companies and contractors who’s work in the state is outstanding. He also called for incentivizing executing agencies for completing developmental projects ahead of the scheduled time while maintaining the quality parameters and professional standards. Such a move, he said, will go a long way in encouraging best practices in construction works.

The Governor also called for installing plaques on construction works mentioning the date on which the project was started, cost of the project, the construction agency, the name of the contractor and the date of completion.

Governor asked the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department to prepare a comprehensive list of developmental projects which are overdue for completion due to inadequate financial resources, resulting in cost overrun. He also called for compiling the details of all the financial liabilities on account of various works.

Governor said the State government will approach the Central government with a special request to sanction one-time financial dispensation so that the work on these projects carries on without any constraints and the financial resources already invested in them don’t go waste.

Governor said that during his recent visits to various districts, he has come across several projects which are lingering at various stages of execution for years together for want of resources. There are also huge liabilities on account of works which have been taken up without the requisite administrative approval, he said and added that to address the issue, the Government of India would be approached for one-time fiscal assistance.

“It has been observed that various departments take up developmental works without getting the necessary concurrence from the finance department. Such practices not only burden the state exchequer by creating financial liabilities but it also results in wastage of money since most of these projects don’t get completed on time due to paucity of funds,” the Governor said.

He called upon all the State government departments to maintain fiscal discipline and put an end to such practices while ensuring that any developmental work takes place only after the approval of DPR and availability of adequate financial resources.

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