India

Funds worth crores spent haphazardly without long lasting plan

golden yug
[ September 08, 2017 ] ERA’s developmental works created more nuisance than any relief to public Discrimination with Jammu region in general and Jammu in particular and water and power crisis in the region are as old as its inception. Though several steps have been taken from time to time in the shape of huge funds from central government through various schemes but the reality is nothing changed with regard to addressing water crisis in Jammu city. Public at large is stunned to note that where these huge funds for addressing water crisis have gone if there is no change in providing proper supply of water to residents of city. However to address the water leakage at various places due to age old water pipes Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) was given the work of rehabilitation of water supply pipe network in identified areas within Zone 2, 3, 4 and 5 in Jammu City. The areas under these zones are old Jammu city area, New Plot, Bakshi Nagar, Shakti Nagar, Janipur, Sarwal, Rehari etc. ERA assigned the work to M/S Technofab Engineering Ltd,507, Eros Apartment, 56 Nehru Place, New Delhi vide No.PM/JKUSDIP/ERA/J 250-258 Dated 14-01-2015 through contract No.JKUSDIP Jammu/WS-05 for the accepted contract amount Rs 72,98,41,391 inclusive of provisional sum of Rs 3,00,00,000 as corrected and modified in accordance with the instructions accepted by ERA. However the loan proposal sanctioned by Asian Development Bank (ADB) under its Loan-II scheme to ERA contained a conspicuous feature of laying of pipes undertaken by the department, which will be model-based, and include minimum damage to the roads, besides avoiding inconvenience to the public. It was a part of plan to run parallel pipes on both sides of the main road with an intersection dug at a convenient distance to get the uninterrupted water supply. The main nerve pipe will be attached with tertiary pipes on both sides which will be source pipes for the houses. The ERA has undertaken Jammu and Kashmir Urban Sector Development Investment Program (JKUSDIP), financed by the ADB through Multi Tranche Financing Facility (MFF).This project falls under the Loan II (tranche 3) which is one of the sub-projects identified under JKUSDIP and includes zones 2, 3, 4 and 5 that covers major area of Jammu West Constituency. The loan sanctioned under this sub-project amounts to Rs 72 crore on which the work has been started. Initially 40-km area under the project out of 180 km was to be covered in Amphalla, Sarwal, Rehari, Bhagwati Nagar, Mahinder Nagar and many other major areas falling under the Jammu West Constituency. The deadline to achieve the target of four zones was December 2016 and the Public Health Engineering Department, which is resource organization for Economic Reconstruction Agency was hopeful of getting the system in place within the stipulated time frame. But this is September 2017 and the work is still not complete despite yearly spending of Rs 36261244 in 2013-14, Rs 43079065 in 2014-15, Rs 186822794 in 2015-16, Rs 272804180 in 2016-17 and Rs 98516592 in 2017-18 which makes it total of Rs 63,74,83,875. In addition to this an amount of Rs 35.75 crores work of laying plastic water pipes for an area of 92.05 Km in Channi Himmat area allotted to M/s Design and Supervision Consultant (IPE) Global Limited. The work is still in progress and has already missed the deadline. Furthermore, the preconditions which were aimed to restore the roads to its original position in which they were before digging was never fulfilled and infect casually undertook the repairing work after lying of pipes causing serious problems for the pedestrians and two wheelers and four wheelers alike. Similarly previously the blacktopping work was done using Paver Machine but the repairing was never done using Machine and at most of places blacktopping was done manually thus reducing the age of roads due to low sticking power due to manual method. Besides, the contracts have been sublet to less known contractors sacrificing the quality and capability of work at the first place which is great injustice with the tax payers money going to drain due to the high handedness of officials of ERA who are mostly concerned of their personal welfare rather than utilizing every penny for the public which otherwise also their moral responsibility to ensure development of area wherever they undertake work in city. It is highly questionable on part of advisers who gave the advice of laying plastic pipes to GI Pipes which are long lasting in comparison to plastic pipes having short durability. It seems that in order to derive undue profit from the company supplying these plastic water pipes at the cost of public money which should have been used judiciously but personal profit killed that spirit resulting in overall poor quality work. Though PHE has been trying to ease the water shortage crisis by deploying water carrying trucks to supplement water supply at affected areas and ERA has dug about 50 wells yet this is not a fool proof arrangement. At one time there was much talk about drinking water master plan for Jammu and hopes were created among the people that a time was near at hand when Jammu would overcome the difficulty of water shortage. However this was not to happen. Jammu is part of Kandi area meaning an area where there is shortage of water. However, the redeeming factor for Jammu city has been that Tawi flows close to it and a plant has been established near Nagrota bypass and it is called Sitlee filtration plant where the water of Tawi is filtered and supplied to the city. This is actually the life line of the city of Jammu. Since pat month a large area of Jammu especially the newly raised colonies an localities of Jammu West, including New Plots, Sarwal, Janipur, Rehari, Bakshi Nagar, Subhash Nagar, Ploura, Buta Nagar, Roop Nagar etc and Old city are reeling under water crisis.