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AC meets, approves several projects

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Initiates process to wind up J&K Cements Ltd; rolls out Aspirational Blocks Development prog; okays creation of four addl sessions courts

Srinagar, Oct The Administrative Council (AC), which met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Wednesday approved the proposal of Industries and Commerce Department regarding complete sale of Jammu and Kashmir Cements Limited through ascending e-auction from qualified bidders.

The decision has been taken in view of sharp decline in production and revenues from 2012-13 onwards, an official handout informed.

Over the loss making years, the company has been burdened by its own liabilities on account of salaries/bills raised by the contractors and various departments, CP Fund of employees, and GST liabilities.

Winding up of the loss-incurring PSU will open up the huge area of land measuring approximately 240 kanals appurtenant to the Khrew Plant which can be utilized as industrial estate by J&K SIDCO. The decision will assist the closing PSU in realizing revenue through payment of premiums by the prospective entrepreneurs to effectively clear the statutory liabilities of the company.

For intensive and focused development of the 44 most backward blocks of the Union territory, the AC approved the rollout of the prestigious ‘Aspirational Blocks Development Programme’.

The blocks identified under the Aspirational Blocks Development Programme are the most backward blocks of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir which require special focus to bring them at par with other blocks. The programme aims to improve development in terms of various socio-economic parameters like education, health and wellbeing; and overall living conditions of the people, an official handout informed.

It said these Aspirational Blocks shall be developed through convergence of various ongoing UT schemes/programmes, and centrally sponsored schemes/ programmes. The District Development Commissioners will be tasked with preparation of a suitable development plan, whereas, the Planning Development and Monitoring Department will constantly monitor the district-wise progress of these blocks through a digital portal.

Under the programme, the resources will be clearly delineated across various sectors of development – poverty, health & nutrition, education, and basic infrastructure, at the district level. Additionally, an amount of Rs. 1.00 crore will be provided to each block after fulfillment of defined criteria.

The best practices implemented in the development of Aspirational Blocks will be acknowledged and duly replicated in other blocks towards ensuring an inclusive and equitable socio-economic development of the Union territory, the handout said.

The AC also approved the creation of four additional sessions courts in four districts of the Union Territory.

“The Administrative Council (AC), which met here under the chairmanship of  Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, accorded approval for creation of four courts of Additional District & Sessions Judges at district headquarters — one each in Samba, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Poonch,” an official spokesman said.

The Administrative Council also approved the creation of 40 new posts of different categories, 10 each at the new court complexes in the four selected districts having a financial implication of Rs 2.58 crore (salary) and Rs 21.657 lakh (NPS) per financial year, he said.

The spokesman said the gradual increase in the population of Jammu and Kashmir has substantially enhanced the judicial workload which has necessitated the opening of new court complexes to cater to the increased public demand.

The AC also approved the transfer of land measuring 60 Kanal at Village Haqanibad Punzwa, Tehsil Villigam, District Kupwara to the Youth Service & Sports Department for construction of a sports stadium.

The upcoming stadium will cater to the needs of local population as well of the youth from the 20 neighbouring villages by purposefully engaging 20,000 youth with sporting activities across a number of disciplines, an official handout informed.

It said during this financial year, an amount of Rs 100.00 lakh has also been earmarked for the development of the infrastructure, of which Rs 50.00 lakhs stands allocated to the department to kick-start the works at an earliest.

Meanwhile, the Administrative Council approved the transfer of land measuring 39 Kanal 10 Marla at village Kutlehar, Tehsil & District Kathua to the Jal Shakti Department for construction of the main Ravi canal from Shahpur Kandi Dam to Basantpur.

Recently, the governments of J&K and Punjab signed a fresh bilateral agreement on Shahpur Kandi Project which aims to provide water to the Union territory to enhance agricultural protection in the Kandi belt of Kathua and Samba districts.

Farooq Khan and Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisors to the Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K and Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor attended the meeting.

Govt extends compensation to non-local militancy victims under SRO-43

Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday extended relief under SRO-43 to the non-local victims of militant violence, which will entitle their next of kin to cash compensation.

The decision was taken by the Administrative Council of the Union Territory, which met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha, an official spokesperson said.

“The decision extended relief under SRO-43 to the next of kin of victims who were non-residents of Jammu and Kashmir and were killed in the recent violence in the Kashmir valley,” he said.

At least five non-local workers were killed during the month of October this year.

SRO-43, promulgated as Compassionate Appointment Rules in 1994, was enacted to compensate kin of victims of militancy among government employees and other permanent residents of J&K.

Govt approves rollout of 3rd party inspection guidelines in road sector

In a bid to improve the quality of infrastructure in road sector and fix responsibility for proper maintenance of assets, the Administrative Council (AC), which met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Wednesday approved the rollout of the 3rd party inspection guidelines in Jammu and Kashmir.

The new guidelines have been framed on the lines of established regulations in respect of road network created under the PMGSY scheme. Accordingly, structured control mechanism is being established in PW(R&B) Department to carry out scientific and periodic independent inspections for all district roads and state highways by undertaking monitoring via in-house departmental engineers and empanelled consultant of national stature, an official handout informed.

It said the quality control mechanism also defines procedures and timelines to properly govern preparation of realistic detailed project reports (DPRs); preparation of bid documents and effective selection process for procurement of works; quality control on material and workmanship through enforcement of technical standard; and quality control requirement by regular testing, close supervision and inspection.

The mechanism has provisions for ensuring preparation of realistic detailed project report (DPR) on the basis of detailed drawings and design, with adequate attention to investigations and pre-construction activities which are essential for proper design and estimation of the project as per standard IS, IRC codes of practice and as per JKPWD Engineering Manual 2021 and other guidelines issued by the department for time to time; preparation of bid documents and effective selection process for procurement of works, based on proven capacity and ability of the contractors in accordance with the relevant guidelines; constant monitoring of projects by undertaking on-site supervision, quality control measures including materials and workmanship, primarily through testing.

According to the handout, the new guidelines make it mandatory to conduct independent quality tests in accordance with the standard codal requirements and verify that the quality management system is achieving its intended objectives. They also prescribe non-release of payments to the contractors until works are inspected and graded satisfactory by the quality monitor.

Further, the Directorate of Design, Inspection & Quality Control which has the mandate for designing and quality control, shall be the Nodal Agency for implementation of Quality Control Mechanism independently under overall supervision of PW(R&B) Department as Quality Control Unit.

With the rollout of 3rd party inspection system, the quality of works executed under various programmes/schemes in road sector will be brought under scrutiny and responsibilities will be fixed for non/under performance of various agencies.

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