Srinagar: The space-crunch for the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) at Bagh-i-Dilawar Khan, which was set to resolve several years ago after a projected relocation to Zainakote, seems unlikely to end. Eight years after the project started, most of the infrastructure at the 484 crore ITI campus in Zainakote is incomplete.
Officials blame the delays on time taken in authorization. The Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board (JKHB), the executing agency, the authorisations have been pending for five years.
The Zainakote campus – foundation stone was laid in 2009 – was scheduled to complete in 2011. The plan provides for a workshop block, and a hostel block besides other structures.
“We have been unable to receive authorisation for the last five years as there is a problem in the soil that has recently been sorted out,” said JKHB general manager, Aftab Pandit. “The first administration approval was for a load-bearing building. But we have to go for a structure made of Reinforced Cement Concrete, a combination of concrete and steel instead of concrete alone for load bearing, as the bearing capacity of the soil on which the college is being built is very low. That is why the construction has taken some time”.
The Zainakot ITI in city outskirts was approved in 2009 under a centrally sponsored scheme to decrease the congestion at the institute’s Bagh-i-Dilawar Khan campus. Its principal, Mohammad Ashraf Wani, said that the idea was to shift some of the courses of the campus to the new facility in Zainakote.
“In some trades, we have two units, like in Electrician, Mechanic Motor Vehicle, Copa, Mechanic Diesel,” Wani said. “ITI Bagh-i-Dilawar Khan is spread over just 12 kanals of land. We are facing a lot of problems here as there are 34 courses offered in this college”. Among other facilities, the campus in Bagh-i-Dilawar Khan lacks a sports field.
“The construction is moving at a snail’s pace. Eight years have passed, but the college is still incomplete,” said Danish Farooq, a Zainkote resident. “It took them almost two years just to construct the roof of the building. They are not doing their work properly”.