Anantnag: An inspection hut at Kokernag Trout Farm, arsoned during the protests of 2016, is yet to be completed as the reconstruction has been agonisingly slow.
The hut was set on fire on July 10 of 2016, a day after Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in Bemdoora area of Kokernag in Anantnag district.
Police registered an FIR following the incident and for a few years, the Trout Farm remained without an inspection hut, a place where the visiting officials and dignitaries stay within the farm premises.
Subsequently, the work of reconstructing the hut was allotted to a local contractor, who has not been up to the mark and has put the completion of the hut to ordained delay.
“Around 53 lakh rupees were earmarked for the reconstruction of the hut and despite the fact that there has been no dearth of funds, the contractor has not been forthcoming,” a source in the department told Kashmir Reader. “He has been working on it for more than two years now and the hut still remains far from completion.”
He said that the higher-ups in the department were seriously thinking of blacklisting the contractor but given the fact that it would delay the work even further, they have put the action on a halt.
“He has been warned time and again but he continues to work as he pleases,” the source told Kashmir Reader. “As a result, the department has to look elsewhere to accommodate the visiting officials to the farm.”
Kashmir Reader talked to the Chief Project Officer (CPO) of the farm, Makhdoom Mohiuddin, who acknowledged that there has been some delay. “But I believe the hut is near completion, with only the truss to be installed and some work which had been put on hold due to cold, to be completed,” the CPO said.
He said that the work is overseen by the engineering wing of the Fisheries department and, “They will be the best people to talk about the issue.”
Junior Engineer of the Engineering wing, Mukhtar Ahmad, who also said that the work on the hut has been slow-paced. “But it is almost complete now, with only the truss to be installed,” he said, adding, “though he was supposed to complete the construction in a single working season.”
Mukhtar, however, contradicted our source and said that the estimated cost of the hut was only 39 lakh rupees and not 53 lakh rupees.