SRINAGAR: Calling for revamping the Mechanical Engineering Department (MED) on modern lines, Minister for Public Works, Naeem Akhtar today said that the Department besides completing prestigious projects will also act a booster for young entrepreneurs in the State who sometimes lack the facility of having major construction machinery.
The Minister was speaking during a meeting to review the functioning of MED in Jammu and Srinagar. He directed the officials to remove the anomaly in rates on which construction and road building machines are given by MED on hire to private contractors and other Government Departments. He called for abolishing the traditional practice of providing machines to contractors on higher rates than the market rates. “It will help a lot young contractors who sometimes are unable to bid for projects because of lack of costly machines with them. They can now take on rent the machines from MED at competitive prices,” he said.
While calling for expedited efforts to complete all projects within the stipulated time, the Minister said that the MED with its huge skilled manpower, machinery and expertise has the potential to accomplish works worth many times over. The Minister was informed that work is apace on the completion of works under National Saffron Mission. Of the 98 borewells, 09 have been completed, 50 trenches have been completed and entire project will be completed by the end of March 2018.
Similarly in Jammu, the Department is completing a cold store of 10 tonne capacity and other projects. The meeting was also informed that MED Jammu is providing specialized road building equipment to on rent to BRO.
The Minister also reviewed the procurement of snow clearance machinery for Kashmir division. The Minister was informed that all the machinery will be ready by 15th of October and Department is ready to meet any eventuality for the coming winter. The Minister directed the officials to send one snow clearance machine to Kargil. He also directed the officials to make sure recruitment for any shortage of staff is done on fast track basis, so that there is no shortage of drivers and technical staff for the operation of these machines.
The meeting was attended by Commissioner PWD, Chief Engineer MED Kashmir and Jammu and other officials.