JAMMU, SEP 22: The Jammu and Kashmir government’s clear directions to executing agencies to embrace geo-tagging for development projects is a significant leap towards transparency and accountability.
By leveraging technology, the government has enhanced efficiency in the execution of development projects across 20 districts of Union Territory and empowered both government officials and citizens, resulting in improved project management and community engagement.
This initiative not only empowers citizens but also encourages efficient project management and enhances accountability within the government machinery. As the implementation progresses, it is expected to not only benefit the state’s development but also serve as a model for other regions looking to improve governance through technology-driven transparency measures.
Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha has repeatedly directed concerned officers to implement geo-tagging for every project and withhold payments until the proper geo-tagged images of the projects are updated. This step underlines the government’s commitment to ensuring that public funds are utilized efficiently and that citizens have access to real-time information about the progress of various development initiatives.
Geo-tagging is the process of adding geographical information, such as latitude and longitude coordinates, to digital media, including photos or videos. When applied to development projects, it allows for the precise location and monitoring of ongoing work. “The use of geo-tagging has gained momentum globally as it contributes to transparency, accountability, and efficient project management,” said an official.
One of the primary objectives of implementing geo-tagging is to promote transparency in the execution of government projects. By associating geographical coordinates with each project, the government ensures that the exact location and progress can be easily verified by citizens and stakeholders. This transparency reduces the chances of corruption, mismanagement, and delays in project completion, as officials are aware that their work is subject to public scrutiny.
Jammu & Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC) Ltd has played an important role in the development of the Union Territory. As per the data, JKIDFC had set a target to complete 1235 more projects costing Rs 4545.06 crore in the FY 2021-22. Moreover, 1100 projects worth Rs 1555.16 crore stand completed till date out of 2357 approved projects amounting to Rs 7110.78 crore.
It is pertinent to mention here that some projects under JKIDFC were approved initially without any scrutiny of documents which after the incorporation of the JKIMS portal were scrutinized as the payments were released only after the scrutiny of all the documents. The government has directed that to ensure transparency, through an already created online transparent platform for funding of projects eliminating the ones which were funded without Tendering, Technical Sanctions and other necessary documents.
The progress achieved by JKIDFC also included the inclusion of Geo-Spatial Software, necessary Geo-Tagging with Photographs, Geo-Location of all physically completed projects and Geo Tagging with Google Earth real-time imagery on the JKIDFC website, besides other new features, it was informed. In recent years, the use of technology has revolutionized various sectors, including governance and development. One remarkable application of technology in Jammu and Kashmir is the implementation of geo-tagging and photography to monitor and ensure quality work on the ground. This innovative approach has not only enhanced transparency and accountability but has also led to significant improvements in the execution of projects and initiatives throughout the region.