Planning Commission Rebukes J&K’s Development Claims
Syed Junaid Hashmi (Kashmir Times)
Jammu: Planning Commission of India has strongly rebuked developmental claims of Jammu and Kashmir government besides passing negative remarks over technical expertise of officers involved in preparing project reports of several centrally sponsored schemes including prestigious Mughal road project.
It has not minced words but plainly advised the state government to invest in capacity building in key departments. Referring to faulty Deatiled Project Reports (DPRs) of Mughal Road, Dal-Nagin project, Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) programmes and Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) projects, the Commission has said that projects have not been well conceived and required revision resulting in cost and time overrun.
These damaging remarks have been made by Secretary Planning Commission Sudha Pillai in her tour report, a copy of which is exclusively with Kashmir Times. Pillai accompanied by senior advisor state plan J&K D.S.Kalha visited Jammu on January 8, 2010 and reviewed progress made by the state on the implementation of flagship schemes and schemes included in Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Programme (PMRP).
More importantly, when Chief Secretary S.S.Kapur had been asked to explain reasons for slow pace of implementation of programmes under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), he ascribed this to faulty DPRs that were not based on detailed ground survey. He had told the commission that executing agency discovered large number of underground utilities (water and sewage pipes) that required shifting.
However, she has stated that marginal improvement has been observed during 2008-09 and 2009-10. Taking to task state’s inability to contribute its share in the certain key flagship schemes like Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP), secretary Planning Commission has said that it has not only affected the intended outcome of the schemes but also put brakes on the flows of additional/balance funds from union government.
It has further implored upon the state to implement reform programme required under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) to remain eligible to receive further funding from union government. The Planning Commission has appreciated state for projecting works funded out of state plan funds. This has resulted in efficient implementation and monitoring.
It has further said that an expenditure of Rs.750 crore has been incurred in transport and public health sectors in the urban areas. It has maintained that Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded projects are being implemented through Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA).