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news details
DB asks CS to examine availability of funds
Delay in completion of infrastructure projects
9/18/2020 11:57:47 PM

JAMMU, Sept 18: In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Division Bench of J&K High Court comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta observed that the construction of 16 bridges is stated to have halted and directed Chief Secretary of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for immediate examination and look into the matter of availability of funds so that there is no delay in completion of infrastructure projects in the Union Territory of the Jammu and Kashmir.
When the instant PIL relating to bridges which were under construction in Kashmir province by the Jammu & Kashmir Project Construction Corporation which were funded by the Finance Department came up for hearing, it was informed that the matter raised a grievance with regard to construction of Tengchatri Bridge which was to be completed in the year 2013. More than 7 years have passed thereafter. But the bridge has not been completed till date. It is submitted by Arshid Andrabi, counsel for the petitioner, that the people of the area are really suffering.
DB observed that on 13th of March, 2019, we were informed by the J&K Project Construction Corporation that despite requests and imperative need of funds, the same have not been released by the Finance Department, resulting in delay of the completion of these projects. Similar delay is attributed in context to construction of flyovers and our orders dated 13.02.2019 and 12.07.2019 regarding filing of status reports, were not complied with by the J&K PCC.
DB said “Therefore, on the 27th of August, 2020, the respondents were again asked to positively file a status report giving the details of the Bridges and Flyovers which are under construction by the Jammu & Kashmir Project Construction Corporation; the date on which the work was allotted; the original date of completion; and the expected date of completion of such project.
Such report shall be filed within two weeks from today, failing which the Managing Director, Jammu & Kashmir Project Construction Corporation shall remain present in Court on the next date of hearing. “
In view of this order, the respondent-JKPCC has filed a status report dated 10th of September, 2020 wherein it was mentioned that no Flyover is under construction of the Respondent Corporation / JKPCC Ltd. / Respondent No. 6 of the Main Petition in Kashmir Province. Respondent is an executing agency only and the Budget component in respect of all the bridges under execution with the Respondent JKPCC Ltd., dominion is with project Authorities like PWD and those funded by the World Bank. However, it apt to mention over here that those bridges funded by the World Bank, execution is going smoothly and funds are released from time to time and that in most of the bridges including that of the subjected PIL, Akhal and Tengchatri Bridge, the paucity of funds is causing delay in the completion of the execution and the Respondent executing agency JKPCC Ltd is unable in timely completion of the bridges although for no fault of its own. Besides, the Respondent JKPCC Ltd. Corporation is without any budgetary support of the Government and has to earn the administrative overheads and salary / wages out of the profit component of the projects under execution. Furthermore, in 08/2018 some 16 No. of the bridge projects under execution with the Respondent JKPCC Ltd. corporation including Akhal Bridge and Tengchatri bridge Iron Project Authority PWD whose pace of work is either at halt or low have been put under LANGUASHING BRIDGES and will be funded by Jammu & Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC). “
DB observed that the status report reduces the problem to inefficient financial planning and release of finances to enable completion of public infrastructure projects and it cannot be denied that the people must be facing extreme difficulty on account of the non-availability of the means of the connectivity.
DB further said that this matter needs critical attention at the highest level. Construction of 16 bridges is stated to have halted and asked Chief Secretary of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for immediate examination and looking into the matter of availability of funds so that there is no delay in completion of infrastructure projects in the Union Territory of the Jammu and Kashmir. (JNF)
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