Major Road Connectivity Operation To Begin With Rs 4502 Cr WB Funding In J&K
8 October 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: With the massive funding by the World Bank (WB), a major activity of roads construction operation is being launched in the J&K state shortly under Bharat Nirman programme of the Central government. The J&K Government has principally agreed to the terms and conditions of the World Bank and a team of the Bank which visited the State a few days back has given its green nod for the funding and other support for the proposed activity of road works worth over Rs 4502.80 cr in the militancy infested state. Minister for Roads and Buildings, Gulchain Singh Charak told the Excelsior here today that on the guidelines and instructions of the World Bank, nine new Dedicated Divisions of the R&B department are being created shortly. For this purpose, a new post of Chief Engineer and two Superintending Engineers (SEs) are being created. An officer of the rank of Executive Engineer will be the incharge of Dedicated Unit or the Division created, he said. Giving details, Mr Charak said each unit will be equipped with adequate infrastructure, manpower and machinery as they have to meet the target of completion of all the 989 roads by the end of 2009 as per World Bank guidelines. He pointed out that other support staff including AEEs, Assistant Engineers, Junior Engineers, Draftsmen, etc besides clerical and accounts staff will be sent on deputation while a few will be appointed purely on contractual basis. The entire work is being initiated by National Rural Roads Development Agency under the Ministry of Rural Development as part of Bharat Nirman project. Some component of the funding will be made directly by the agency. There is no need of any state share of the project, however, the compensation on account of forest- state land or any other structure etc. will be borne by the State government. The World Bank which earlier refused the funding with the involvement of National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) in the project, agreed to give its nod only after the state Government gave assurance for full involvement of the J&K Public Works Department in the project which also agreed to accept the proposals like maintaining full transparency in the accounting system, establishment of Dedicated Divisions, adopting strict measures of global tendering and taking care of the environmental, social and economic interests of the local population concerned. It is yet another favour shown by the World Bank to this militancy infested state that it has agreed to provide additional funding of Rs 350 cr for upgradation of the existing roads in the State. Initially Rs 750 cr is being given by the World Bank and Rs 153. 06 cr is being utilised this year alone, Mr Charak maintained. Responding to a question, the Minister incharge R&B said with this funding, the total road length of 6612 kms will be completed in next three years connecting 1643 small and large villages. The modalities and criteria has already been fixed for the entire country by the Union Government under Bharat Nirman project. He said the Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has given clearance for the creation of nine additional R&B Divisions and appointment of new Chief Engineer besides two SEs, one each for Kashmir and Jammu regions. A high level committee has been constituted under the supervision of Chief Secretary and Commissioner R&B Atal Dullu in this regard. The Chief Engineer R&B Jammu, M M Sharma and CE Kashmir are also assisting them.