Srinagar, Feb 10: Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday granted government two more weeks’ time for “action taken report” regarding completion of bridges in Kashmir being constructed by JKPCC and languishing due to the paucity o the funds.
A bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur passed the orders after Additional Advocate General M A Chashoo sought more time after the court observed that “fresh action taken report” in terms of order on November 27 last year has not been filed. “As prayed, two weeks’ further time is allowed for filing the report,” the court said and listed the petition on March 30.
Last year, the high court had directed that the facts regarding paucity of funds needed to be to be seriously looked into at the highest level. “Let a copy of this order and the report filed by JKPCC be placed before the Chief Secretary of J&K who shall immediately look into the matter,” the court had ordered.
The order had followed perusal of a status report filed by Mohammad Ramzan Malla, Deputy General Manager of the JKPCC, submitting that bridges which are under construction by the JKPCC are either funded by the World Bank or by the Government of J&K. However, in most of the bridges, he said, the paucity of funds is causing delay in the completion of the execution. He said that JKPCC was is executing agency only and the Budget component in respect of all the bridges under execution with the JKPCC Ltd., dominion is with project Authorities like PWD and those funded by the World Bank. However, he said that it was apt to mention that those bridges funded by the World Bank, execution is going smoothly and funds are released from time to time.
“In most of the bridges including Akhal and Tengchatri Bridge, the paucity of funds is causing a delay in the completion of the execution and the JKPCC Ltd is unable to complete the bridges on time although for no fault of its own,” he had said as per news agency, adding, “Besides, JKPCC Ltd. Corporation is without any budgetary support of the Government and has to earn the administrative overheads and salary/wages out of the profit component of the projects under execution.”
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Samaj Sudhar committee of Tangchatri Kangan in 2011 through advocate Arshad Andrabi, seeking construction of bridges over Sindh Nallah at Tangchatri Akhal Kangan.
The non-release of funds by the Finance Department to JKPCC for construction of these bridges has caused a delay in completing these projects.