By: Ibni Maqbool
Srinagar: The government is sitting over appointing full-time chief executive officers of the special purpose vehicles (SPVs) created for implementation of the smart cities mission program in Srinagar and Jammu cities.
Under the smart cities mission (SCM), the special purpose vehicles (SPVs) shall be headed by full-time CEOs.
But J&K government is yet to appoint full-time CEO for these projects, despite initiating the process for the same in 2017.
Presently, Athar Amir Khan, commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation is holding additional charge of CEO, SPV for Srinagar and Avny Lavasa, Commissioner Jammu Municipal Corporation, is entrusted with the assignment in Jammu.
Documents accessed by The Precious Kashmir reveal that the Housing & Urban Development Department (H&UDD) had initiated the process for hiring CEOs from the open market for each SPV in 2017.
On November 15, 2017, the department invited applications from interested professionals/ candidates for the post of CEO for “Srinagar Smart City Limited” and “Jammu Smart City Limited”.
But the process was left midway in 2018 by the department after conducting interview of candidates shortlisted for the post.
On October 3, 2018, the Centre issued an advisory to the State and Union Territories to appoint full-time CEOs for SPVs set-up for implementation of the Mission.
“All SPVs may therefore ensure appointment of full-time CEOs at the earliest to enable the Mission Directorate to achieve the intended outcomes in a time-bound manner,” reads the advisory.
The Centre told the states/ UTs that appointment of full-time CEO is expected to significantly contribute in its pursuit towards accelerated implementation of the Mission.
“It is experienced across organizations that having a full time CEO facilitates quick decision making and better results in terms of frequent board meetings and faster rate of project implementation in general. On the contrary, a part-time CEO may not be in a position to give complete attention due to other pressing concerns at hand. As a result, project implementation under SCM is unable to gather momentum and the effort shifts from that of a Mission Mode to one of Business as usual,” the advisory read.
According to documents, as many as 28 projects have been completed under the program in Srinagar and Jammu cities against 184 projects sanctioned by the Centre.
Under the program, each city will get Rs 500 crore funding from the Government of India.