SUHAIL A SHAH
TRAL: Work on the ‘Tral Mini-Secretariat’ here in Pulwama district has been put on hold less than a month after it began in April this year, in the wake of funds not being released by the government, sources have revealed.
The executing agency, the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC), has stopped the work after spending around Rs 18 lakh on the project.
“We were promised Rs 1 crore in the first week, but nothing was released. Then the government changed and we too were sceptical about continuing the work. Hence the work was put to a halt,” a senior official of the JKPCC told Kashmir Reader.
The Mini-Secretariat was sanctioned by the Jammu and Kashmir government in July last year, with an estimated cost of around Rs 7.12 crore for the first phase of the project.
“It was then decided that an amount of Rs 3 crore will initially be released, so the work was taken up,” sources told Kashmir Reader.
The Mini-Secretariat was thought of and sanctioned to curtail time and cost consumption in interdepartmental dealings.
Moreover, it would have provided an easy access to government departments for the people of Tral, who otherwise are geographically cut off from the rest of the Pulwama district.
The project was handed over to the JKPCC, but the first hurdle came soon after the project was sanctioned.
“It took us seven months to get a consensus on the project location,” a source in the JKPCC told Kashmir Reader. “Three locations were proposed, but the issue was that the land belonged to some other departments and they needed to be brought into confidence.”
Finally, 16 Kanals of Horticulture department land were selected for the project in around January this year, and the work subsequently began in April.
“We sent a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the concerned authorities and we are yet to receive an acknowledgement on that,” sources in the JKPCC said.
The work has remained at a halt since then, much to the dismay of the general public in Tral.
“We thought it would be an end to our ‘office woes’. But we guess it is not to be. We might have to wait a long time before that happens,” said Tral residents Kashmir Reader talked to.
The Deputy General Manager of the JKPCC for Pulwama, Masood Ahmad Gangoo, acknowledged that work has been stalled on the project.
“We have met the Pulwama Deputy Commissioner and other concerned authorities and we have been promised that the funds will be released soon,” Gangoo said.
He hoped the funds will be released soon so the work could be started afresh.