Elected representatives from Jammu least bothered over persistent delay

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[ November 01, 2017 ] Several meetings, visits by CM, others failed to accelerate pace of work It is unfortunate to note that when highly qualified youth even struggling for some pocket money run types of job as Govt says it is running of funds and accordingly it has no funds to engage youths in Govt work. But it is painful to note that funds worth crores are being misused now and then without any purpose thereby throwing hard earned tax payers money in to drain. There is an eye opener example of this at Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex, old secretariat Jammu where security personnel’s have been engaged at the cost of Rs 3160890 on security from April 2009 to July 2016 but the fact of the matter is what was there to secure when the building was under renovation and spending such a huge amount smells fishy. Moreover amount spent on laborers cum sanitation staff which is also not clear for what purpose these laborers were hired and why the sanitary staff was engaged. In other words what was there which was chocked and why such a huge funds under the category of laborers and sanitary staff was spent needs enquiry to clear the mist shrouding the delay in completion of Mubarak Mandi Heritage project? But the reality is that there is no corridors, waiting rooms, conference hall, office stairs to be cleared daily as per the agreement when there is no such building in workable position where these employees are employed. The cleaning of electric fixtures and gears panes of windows and door need to be cleaned and dusted in routine for which payment shown spent surprisingly are actually not present on the spot. There were two bathrooms only when there used to be the office of Divisional Commissioner Jammu office. It has also been reported that the staff shown engaged at site actually were engaged at homes of officials for domestic works. Seven laborers were engaged at the rate of Rs 160 per day besides three safaiwallas on the outsourcing basis. Moreover Rs 1774120 spent on laborers cum sanitation staff from April 2009 to July 2016 which is also not clear for what purpose these laborers were hired and why the sanitary staff was engaged. In other words what was there which was chocked and why such a huge funds under the category of laborers and sanitary staff was spent needs enquiry to clear the mist shrouding the delay in completion of project? Now the J&K police security is deployed at the Mubarak Mandi Heritage site to take care of security. In September 2017 after the gap of one year, Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex again floated the tender for the private security, Accordingly Six security personals with gun, six security personals were engaged without weapon besides 10 skilled labourers/Safaikaramcharis. This deployment which is being provided by BG Security Bari Brahamana is casting Rs 9440 for gunman security personal and Rs 6289 without weapon. Similarly the skilled labour is getting Rs 9440 per month and sweeper getting Rs 6289 oer month costing total expenditure Rs 1.88 lacs per month. Besides 21 posts sanctioned from higher to lower ranks casting Rs 5 crores annually on salaries. There is however no such deployment as has been shown in record and for which ibid stated funds are being spent monthly. It has also come to fore that there is no such permission on part of Govt to engage such deployment at under construction site and the authorities given task of looking out the construction work taking such decisions on their own and have developed a nexus with engaged employees on papers to share the salaries and looting the state exchequer. It has also been reported that the tender has been deliberately sanctioned in favour of person quoting high rates keeping a definite provision commission at the cost of tax payer’s money. The Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society (MMJHS), which was assigned the task of restoration, conservation and preservation the Dogra royal palaces, is also responsible for the mess in the complex as it has allowed local residents to convert a major portion of the complex into a “paid parking”. The irony is that the MMJHS continues to maintain silence on “self-styled paid parking” established by local residents, who are parking their vehicles in the complex with impunity. A couple of years ago, the MMJHS had banned the parking in this portion, but the local residents managed to control the affairs and converted the complex into “paid parking”. Under the “paid parking” system, local residents had been charging Rs 500 per vehicle per month for parking of cars. The only renovated portion in the complex has also not been spared by vehicle owners as they are parking their vehicles there without any fear. Officers at the helm of affairs to blame for the present mess there and alleged that they had failed to protect the sheen of the heritage. “The parking of vehicles in the complex is seriously affecting the health of old buildings on the complex. However no tender was floated for the renovation and surprisingly the work was allotted to INTACH without following requisite codal formalities for timely completion of the project with quality and timely completion of project in time. However when and why the project work was handed over to Archaeological Survey of India from INTACH and it is also not in public domain why the contractors were shifted and what quantum of work has been done by INTACH and how much has already been spent and what portion of the project to be completed by Archaeological Survey of India and by now what will be the completion cost of this much awaited project in Jammu. So far since the start of project in 2008, ASI was entrusted the job for restoration of two buildings named Erstwhile Army Head Quarter and Foreign Office ( Old High Court Building) . The said buildings were completed in the year 2011 against the cost of Rs 3.96 crores. Presently ASI is working to restore the Royal Courts Phase-1. For the said work an amount of Rs 3.96 crores has been released in favour of ASI. Restoration work on said component has been completed up to roof level and 75% work is completed and balance work likely to be completed by August 2017. Recently, ASI has started the preliminary work on Royal Courts Phase-11. The estimated cost of the work is Rs 6.88 crores and estimates has been received from ASI. ASI has also sanctioned for starting the work on Dabar Hall, Central Courtyard and Raja Ram Singh Palace. The estimates are being formed by ASI for the above building. Due to improper handling of the project it has already taken much more time even to the extent of more than eight years but the renovation work to onlookers seems that there is no work visible on ground even after spending worth Rs 19.22 crores so far by Archaeological Survey of India and the funds spent by Society in addition to this by floating tenders for work at its own level. Society claims that there is no Govt order/Sanctioning place for parking of private vehicles in the Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex and so no revenue generated by Society but the reality is that there exist two parking places inside the Complex and society charging from the parking on the monthly basis. There is also likelihood that some of the buildings being too old may collapse any time which would further delay the project if it happens. In the light of above facts, it is imperative to conduct an high level enquiry so that the sentiments of people of city which are deeply attached with this heritage could be stopped from further getting shattered. Moreover The Archeological Survey of India’s working so far has highly been unsatisfactory. Any further delay due to carelessness on part of concerned authorities will be further painful for Jammuites.