Editorial: Monitoring developmental projects

After the September 2014 deluge the administrations focus was to ensure that all the developmental projects that will ensure growth of twin Cities of Srinagar and Jammu on scientific lines will be completed on time.

Projects were prioritized and various statements from the administration and seniors ministers were issued saying that officials will be directed to ensure full compliance of the decisions taken to ensure that the projects are completed well before the deadline.

Even the Chief Minister and her colleagues in the state council of ministers every now and then keep on announcing one or the another developmental projects. Some of these projects even though manage to see the light of the day, however, the projects hardly see completion as their pace is always hampered owing to lack of monitoring by various state authorities.

The realization has now finally dawned upon the Government that there is something amiss in the system of developmental projects in the State that hinders completion of various projects within the scheduled time frame. We have ample of arguments to support our claim vis-à-vis the Jhelum drudging project.

The project that should have been completed by now seems to be a perfect example of messing up a key project vital for the survival of historic Srinagar city.

Projects floated by the State or by the Centre, generally are not completed within the stipulated time and various reasons, convincing or not, are given by executing agencies to shield their inability of keeping the time frame.

In these columns we have so often drawn the attention of the Government to this recurring; phenomenon and have analyzed the impact of non-delivery on the overall performance of the Government.

Usually ministers vie with one another in making loud public announcements of floating one or the other project and thus create an atmosphere of expectancy among the unsuspecting masses of people.

These are political gimmicks often resorted to by irresponsible politicians. Moreover, absence of accountability of the executing agencies encourages them to inordinately delay the completion of the projects intentionally with the purpose of escalating cost of construction and thereby draw financial mileage out of a given project.

Importantly, a strategy needs to be drawn out to overcome this phenomenon. The Chief Minister it is believed, too has at various points of time sought the response of the top bureaucracy and even her ministers to ensure that developmental projects should not be compromised with.

It is yet premature to say whether this will have an impact on ground but the strategy should make the District Development Commissioners and Heads of the Departments responsible for not only periodically monitoring the progress of projects sponsored by the State or the Centre or a Public Undertaking but also submitting reports on the progress.

The senior officials in the planning department will be calling a meeting of the DDCs and HoDs and will convey to them the instructions formulated by the Government with the purpose of keeping a close watch on the progress of major developmental projects particularly ensuring that their completion is brought about within the stipulated time.

An important instruction is that an announcement of time frame for any project will not be made unless the concerned DC of the concerned district where the project is floated confirms the date of completion. In this process, the DCs will first make a list of projects floated by the State or the Centre that can be completed by the end of the year.

All the projects/schemes either in the State Sector or the District Sector would become part of these lists. Even the works going on under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes would be reflected along with the dates of their completion during the current year.

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