Rs 1500 cr project in J&K largely achieved its objective: World Bank

Srinagar: In what could be seen as a major achievement by Manoj Sinha-led administration on the development front, the World Bank has said that its Rs 1500 crore project in J&K has largely achieved its objective and, in some cases, surpassed the agreed targets.

The Rs 1500 crore project funded by the World Bank was a non-starter during the PDP-BJP rule. It was bogged down by multiple hiccups before Syed Abid Rashid Shah was brought in as its head.

“The project development objective is to support recovery, increase disaster resilience in project areas, and increase the capacity of the project implementing entity to respond promptly and effectively to an eligible crisis or emergency. JTFRP was focused on recovery and mitigating risks linked to floods in Kashmir. The project has largely achieved this and, in some cases, has surpassed the agreed targets,” reads the latest status report of the project.

The report was released by the World Bank on June 29, 2023.

According to the report, 78.4 percent of contracts under the WB- funded project have been completed.

“Of the 213 contracts, 167 (78.4%), are complete, and another 40 are expected to be completed by the project closing date. Currently the project has disbursed about 67%,” the report further states.

The key achievements under the project include 52 school buildings, four higher education buildings, one fire station, 80 kilometers of road stretches, four bridges, 75 kilometers m drainage network and 33 storm-water drainage pumping stations, critical medical equipment and supplies to 36 hospitals, augmenting 108-Helpline with 68 critical care ambulances, commissioning of 30 oxygen generation plants covering all districts of the state apart from strengthening handicraft, handloom, silk and wool sector.

Before Abid was appointed as chief executive officer of the project in 2020, it saw 13 bosses, which includes 10 IAS officers, in less than five years.  Abid played a key role in accelerating the pace of works approved under the project.

In the past, the WB frequently snubbed the J&K Government over slow pace in implementation of the project and even there were fears of losing funds under it. (KNO)

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