Languishing developmental projects
In a recent meeting, Governor Satya Pal Malik has directed the administration to gear up for completing the languishing developmental projects within the set timeframe so that the same are put to public use at the earliest. This goes without saying that in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in Kashmir Valley, most of the projects, that are started with fanfare, either never get completed or their completion gets delayed for such a long time, they lose their relevance. As Governor has rightly noticed, inordinate delay in the execution of developmental projects not only leads to cost and time overruns, but also fuels public dissatisfaction as they are not able to benefit from the same. This has all along been a chronic facet of State’s developmental scenario. The delay in completion of such projects make people to suffer immensely. The construction of Jahangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover is a glaring example of how the delay in completion of projects impacts the day today lives of commoners. It is because of the incompletion of this flyover that hundreds and thousands of commuters in Srinagar have to face lots of trauma every day as all the roads, lanes and by-lanes of the city remain chocked for hours together due to massive traffic mess. Ambulances carrying patients are seen battling to reach hospitals to save the lives of the ailing; students are seen struggling to reach examination centres on time to write their exams; employees are seen desperately jumping from here to there to reach their places of employment. And this all is because the concerned authorities have failed complete this flyover within stipulated time frame.
Now that the Governor has taken a serious note of these frequent and uncalled for delays in the completion of developmental projects stressing that priority should be given to the key sectors including road communication, drinking water, education, healthcare, irrigation and sports and that all the long-pending projects should be strictly completed within the specified timelines, one hopes that his assertions are followed and taken to logical conclusion. If the government is really serious about the issue, it needs to convey to those, who are involved in such projects, that they will have to pay for any delay in the completion of projects. Unless the concerned agencies and the departments and officers are not made accountable for delays, nothing is going to change. Government needs to gear up, pull its socks and relook at all the delayed projects with fresh commitment and focus. The funding procedures are to be made easier to ensure that so such project is delayed or work stopped because of the lack of funds. Once the government makes the procedure of funding easier for executing agencies, then it need to be tough regarding timelines. The executing agencies and the concerned departments should not be allowed any excuse to delay the projects further. Sooner it is done, better it would be for the people in general.