Three years later, big projects in Prime Minister’s J&K development plan are stuck

At least 28 big-ticket projects — each worth Rs 1,000 crore or more — in the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for J&K announced nearly three years ago remain stuck at various stages, official records accessed by The Indian Express show.

Written by Naveed Iqbal | Srinagar | Updated: August 27, 2018 2:08:08 pm
Jammu and kashmir, PM development package, Narendra Modi, Jammu Kashmir development package, Home Ministry, modi J&K, modi J&k special package, kashmir news, indian express Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally at Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium in Srinagar. (Source: Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi/File)

From an IIM in Jammu to an AIIMS in Awantipora, from key arterial roads in the Jammu and Kashmir regions to the Zojila tunnel in Ladakh.

At least 28 big-ticket projects — each worth Rs 1,000 crore or more — in the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for J&K announced nearly three years ago remain stuck at various stages, official records accessed by The Indian Express show.

The package was announced on November 7, 2015, nine months after the PDP-BJP government took charge in the state. That government collapsed in June this year after the BJP withdrew support, making way for Governor’s rule. On August 21, the Centre named Satya Pal Malik as the new Governor — the first politician to be appointed to the post since the beginning of militancy.

Most of the mega projects under the PDMP are struggling to make progress due to various reasons, including preparation of detailed project reports, land acquisition, forest clearances and even release of funds from the Centre.

Most of these projects are in infrastructure-related sectors and have a gestation period of 3-5 years. They are worth a total of Rs 69,178 crore, which is over 86 per cent of the total PMDP outlay of Rs 80,068 crore. Roads and tunnels alone account for over 50 per cent of the outlay.

Until June 30, the records show, detailed project reports (DPRs) were still being finalised or had just been submitted in four of the 13 road and tunnel projects. Two more projects, cleared by the state government, remain stuck at the Centre. Five road projects have been awarded, and foundation stone laid in January this year for the mega Rs 9,090-crore Zozila tunnel.

Power projects, which make up another 15 per cent, have moved at a comparatively faster pace. The Pakal Dul 1,000 MW project and the Srinagar-Leh transmission line are on course. Of the 28 small hydro power projects estimated to cost a total of Rs 2,000 crore, those being executed by state-owned JAKEDA, are awaiting disbursal by the central government.

Premier educational institutions — AIIMS and IIMs — account for another 7.5 per cent. Forest land has been acquired for an IIT and an IIM in Jammu, and students have been enrolled. But IIM Jammu is functioning in the old campus of University of Jammu and the IIT from a transit campus. Forest land has been acquired for the two AIIMS in Jammu and Awantipora in Kashmir, and boundary walls are being constructed.

Release of funds for rebuilding homes and infrastructure has been expedited. For instance, of the sanctioned amount of Rs 1,195 crore for rebuilding homes, Rs 1,024 crore has already been utilised. Similarly, about Rs 1,095 crore has already been spent on restoring damaged infrastructure.

While the state has created additional government jobs for 3,000 Kashmiri migrants, selections were still being made by relevant recruiting agencies, according to records. The state has also extended financial assistance of Rs 578 crore through Direct Benefit Transfer to 12,588 displaced families (of the 36,384) from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Chhamb.

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