By: Nasir Azam
Srinagar: The Roads & Buildings (R&B) department has directed its officers to put brakes on execution of ongoing development projects initiated before 2018-19 till the time the Finance department accepts the reasons to be submitted by engineers and other projects authorities for failing to complete them.
In a circular, the department has directed all heads of departments/ executive engineers to submit reasons for failing to complete the projects which were initiated before 2018-19
“It is enjoined upon all HODs/ engineers of R&B department not to carry on with ongoing projects which were initiated prior to 2018-19 till the time reasons provided by engineers and project authorities are accepted by the Finance department and suitable guidelines are issued by the administrative department in consultation with the Finance department for having a mechanism to ensure complete funding for the projects from the Finance department in timely manner to complete the projects within a stipulated period,” read the circular issued by Joint Director, (Planning & Statistics), R&B.
These guidelines would not be applicable to works executed under the centrally-sponsored schemes and Prime Minister’s Development Project(PMDP) for Jammu & Kashmir.
The move comes after the Finance department wrote to the R & B department to submit details of all works initiated before 20181-19 along with reasons for failing to complete them in previous financial years.
The R&B department has often come under criticism from different quarters for failing to complete development projects within stipulated time-frame.
According to the circular, the HoDs of R&B department cited different issues like delay in identification of suitable land, acquisition/ transfer of land for projects, disputes through court cases, forest clearances, shifting of utilities and meager fund allocation for slow progress and delay in completion of the projects.
The delay, according to the circular, generates poor public opinion on project completion capacity of the department.
It is worthwhile to mention that the R & B department is involved in planning, designing, construction and maintenance of government assets like roads, bridges, flyovers. It is also involved in developing infrastructure like hospitals, schools, colleges and office buildings for other departments. (KNO)