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news details
Land issues, litigation stall dev works in J&K
4/19/2019 11:08:40 PM
Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Early Times Report

Srinagar, Apr 19: In a major setback to development activities of Jammu and Kashmir, the government is struggling with land acquisition and pending of cases in courts.
The High-Powered Committee (HPC) constituted for ensuring assured funding of languishing projects cleared hundreds of languishing projects over the last few months.
But on ground, the government is struggling with acquisition of land and pending of cases due to lackadaisical approach by officials resulting in delay in completion of projects.
Take for instance Syed Meerak Shah-Zakura road project in Srinagar which is is pending for last so many years. "This project is facing financial implication for land acquisition. The work has either been stopped or is going at a slow pace at few places," an official said.
The non-completion of the project is affecting the traffic movement, causing inconvenience to the public.
In 2009 authorities started expansion of the Syed Meerak Shah Road from Dalgate to Zakura, primarily for facilitating smooth flow of vehicular movement through congested areas of old city Srinagar.
The widening project for the 10.33 kilometer road estimated at Rs 336.24 crore was aimed to serve as key surface link to old city Srinagar, Hazratbal shrine and the University of Kashmir.
Similarly, the state needs Rs 759 crore more to buy land for semi ring road projects in Srinagar and Jammu cities.
A source said farmers were not willing to sell land at the prices offered by the government. The work on the Rs 3833-crore project, whose foundation was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May last year has slowed down because of the fund shortage.
About 12,450 kanals of land is to be acquired for the roads, out of which 10,911 kanals are agricultural land.
Similarly, over two dozen big projects-each worth Rs 1000 crore or more-in the Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP) for J&K announced three years ago are stuck at various stages. For instance, the detailed project reports have been submitted in few projects of the 13 road and tunnel projects. For completion of projects, the Anantnag district requires Rs 200 crore, while Baramulla district needs Rs 104 crore for completion of projects. "There has been hardly any progress in these projects," the source said.
Similarly, thousands of petitions are pending in courts as counsels representing government departments are not following petitions creating a "worrying situation" in Jammu and Kashmir resulting the delay in completion of projects.
There are over 5300 contempt petitions pending against various governments in various courts of the state.
"This has created a worrying situation in the state. The delay in filing these petitions is viewed very seriously by the courts and more often the cases are dismissed at the delay stage, which state of affairs cannot afford to perpetuate," a government communiqué reads.
An official of Law Department said that government departments were not timely acting on directives of the courts.
"The counsels representing government departments are not submitting the response to courts resulting delay in disposal of cases," the official said.
The School Education Department is on the top of the list as a total of 1286 contempt petitions are pending against its authorities for not complying with the directions/ orders passed in different matters.
Majority of these contempt petitions have been filed against the Administrative Secretary of the School Education Department.
Revenue Department is at the second place as a total of 383 contempt petitions are pending against its authorities. Majority of these petitions have been filed against the Collectors of Land Acquisition, Deputy Commissioners and Administrative Secretary of the department.
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