Golden yug jammu apr 21
[ April 22, 2017 ] Throwing norms to winds, the cellular companies operating in Jammu region have come under severe criticism among people who accuse them of damaging roads after laying underground optical fibre or cable wires. The cellular companies have dug up various roads across the summer capital for laying pipes. However despite the government spending crores of rupees on black-topping, these companies have once again left the roads defaced much to the dismay of common people. “There is no coordination between government agencies and cellular companies when it comes to public works. It is irony that how public money goes down the drain due to non-serious attitude of the authorities at the helm of affairs.He added that the state exchequer incur huge losses due to the lack of coordination. Last year roads were black-topped by the Roads and Building Department, but few months later the cellular companies dug up the road for laying pipes thereby leaving them defaced once again.The cellular companies have to seek permission from different agencies like R&B, SMC and PWD, depending on under whose jurisdiction the road they carry out the work on, falls.The Right of Way envisages issuing permissions/clearances to the service providers intending to lay optical fiber cable in the state under rules. The policy covers laying of communication infrastructure in Jammu & Kashmir on state land and highways.“The service provider shall be solely responsible for full restoration/reinstatement to bring the original position of the dug up surface/damage caused to other underground installation/utility services/ interruption, replacement, disruption or failure caused thereof to any services up to the satisfaction of the concerned department,” the policy reads.It adds that in case of breach of any of the clauses of the RoW policy, the government will be empowered to terminate the contract after giving a 15-day show cause notice. One officer of the rank of Principal Secretary to be nominated by the Government of Jammu-Kashmir will act as Arbitrator to whom the matter will be referred to and the decision of the Arbitrator will be final and binding on both the parties. Public Works Department (Roads and Buildings Department), responsible for creation of crucial infrastructure like roads, buildings and bridges in any state, is either working without any “manual” in J&K or it is not available to senior officers of the department. Manual is an instruction booklet vis-à-vis rules and procedures. “In absence of any pre-written rules and procedures, the officers there in the department do not know classification of functions and other procedures like preparation of estimates, Preliminary Estimate, Detailed Estimate, Schedule of Rates, Recasting of Estimate, Supplementary Estimate, preparation and passing bills for payments, Authorities to pass the bills, Payment for work done, Contracts And Forms, Award of work without call of tenders, security deposit and performance guarantee, Manual is very important as every central government construction department follows set rules of the manual of the department. This is beneficial for the contractor and department and ensures transparency and accountability in the department. In absence of the written manual the officers of the department are left with no option but to take decision as per their own will. This promotes nepotism and corruption in the system. In every functionary of the department, right from the commissioner/secretary office to subordinate office, should display copy of the departmental manual and same should be shared with the contractors and general public so for a transparent and accountable system.As per the order by then Chief Engineer, Hamid Sheikh PWD Department it was mandatory for the companies interested in laying optical fiber cable in Jammu province will have to submit the deposit with the Chief Engineer for the damage thereof to roads and areas where they lay the optical fibre cable through CD account. However no such account has been maintained as whether what amount has been generated from these companies and how much has been spent on repairing work. For instance PWD Division 1st received payment from 13-08-2015 to 03-03-2016 worth Rs 2405.72 lacs. As per the guidelines of govt every work up to 1 lac should be undertaken after inviting tender but the PWD department undertakes works worth lacs without inviting tenders. Moreover the terms and condition agreed in MoU never applied in practical and also there is no accountability shown by department to restore damaged work when the restoration payment is deposited by the companies who undertake these works. Some the works include Rs 43.39 lacs police guest house IRP Chowk to Burdhari road spreading of OFC cable was given to contractors of their choice vide DD No. 212195 dated 21-07-2016 without floating tenders. Work in Channi Himmat worth 3.40 lacs DD No.687957 dated 15-01-2016 and another work worth 52.90 lacs DD No 571891 dated 08-07-2016 were undertaken without inviting tenders. A thorough enquiry should be done to ensure that proper estimate was done of the damage and the restoration work was done to bring it to original position so that transparency should be done with the public money. Similarly in other divisions same has been done or the same is being done without following any norms. There are several examples in Channi Himmat area where several works worth lacs has been done without inviting tenders and not only this the quality of work is sacrificed which is gross betrayal with the money of tax payers. This is being done to ensure that their personal pockets remains green without caring that such actions decolour the lives of people who pay tax to seek development for them.Despite several prominent persons approached the Chief Engineer and narrated the wrong doings but Chief Engineer has not taken any action against this which proves beyond any doubt that there exists a strong nexus between PWD staff and these companies whose price is being paid by innocent people of state.