SRINAGAR, NOV 16: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta on Thursday chaired the 5th Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting of the World Bank funded Jhelum & Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP) implemented by J&K Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) here.
Besides the Secretary Tourism & CEO, ERA the meeting was attended by Principal Secretary, H&UDD; Commissioner Secretary, Industries and Commerce; DG, Planning; and others concerned.
During the meeting, the Chief Secretary reviewed the pace of the ongoing projects and stressed on further enhancing it for projects nearing completion so that these are dedicated to public before the onset of winter season. He further instructed for completing the infrastructure projects in all respects so that people do not face any kind of inconvenience in their smooth utilization.
Dr Mehta called JTFRP very pivotal in improving public utilities like schools, colleges, hospitals and other disaster mitigating assets. He asserted that project has also revived the traditional handicrafts which have directly and indirectly provided employment to thousands of our artisans and craftsmen.
Regarding the unutilized funds lend by the World Bank to JTFRP the Chief Secretary directed for looking into the ways and means for securing extension of the project, if possible. He made out that the projects completed under it have proved lot more beneficial for the people and the funds can be used to bring about further improvement in critical infrastructure and livelihood opportunities for people.
Dr Mehta took note of the delay caused in 2019 & 2020 due to unforeseen Covid-19 situation. He asked for making best use of the time window available with them. He also advised them to prioritize the projects that can be implemented in a short span of time.
The Chief Secretary reviewed the detailed progress of all the sub-projects and directed that the ones under execution through JKPCC shall be taken over by the Public Works (R&B) Department on priority basis.
The Chief Secretary asked the Public Works Department to take-up the incomplete infrastructure projects for executing them within the deadline. He also directed the respective line departments to take over all the completed sub-projects under JTFRP within a week’s time.
He asked for bringing in innovation and further augment the productivity of these projects poised to create livelihood opportunities for our people. He called for examining the projects completed till date so that their functionality is ascertained afresh especially that of the Storm Water Drainage projects around the Srinagar city.
The Chief Secretary also reviewed the budget and audit report of the agency during the meeting. He directed the CEO to rework the cost of the AMC of the projects beyond the project completion period. He also gave directives for increasing the efficiency of projects besides broadening their scope for encompassing people from other walks of life.
In his presentation, the CEO, ERA, Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah highlighted the performance of the agency made from 2019. He gave out that out of 213 works, 174 stands completed and 39 are currently at the advanced stages of completion. He further informed that contracts worth ₹1763 Cr stands awarded against which a cumulative expenditure to the tune of ₹1320 Cr has been incurred till October this year.
It was revealed that the JTFRP focused on recovery and mitigating risks linked to occurrence of floods here and it has largely achieved this goal. It was given out that the restored and improved public buildings have served 2,185,798 people, way above the target of 1,000,000.
Moreover the infrastructure works completed under JTFRP includes 52 Schools, 4 higher education buildings, one fire station, 80 km of roads, 4 bridges, 75 km drainage network and 33 storm water drainage pumping stations.
It was added that critical medical equipment and supplies to 36 hospitals, augmenting 100- Helpline with 68 critical care ambulances, commissioning of 30 oxygen generation plants covering all districts of Jammu and Kashmir was also achieved under this project. With respect to livelihoods augmentation it was said that market access for 600 families associated with cocoon rearing, enhanced cocoon procurement capacity and production capacity has already been created. In addition to these interventions similar developments were made in wool, handloom and handicraft sectors of the UT, as was given out in the meeting.