Tall claims of the authorities for proper and timely utilization of central grants notwithstanding, implementation of several projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) has been stalled due to inordinate delay in acquisition of land by the concerned authorities.
According to sources, due to delay in acquisition of forest and proprietary land, contractors are backing out as delay results in a cost overrun, thus hampering completion of the projects.
“Various contractors are facing hardships to execute the PMGSY contract as the authorities especially forest officials are not giving clearance on time. Ban on extraction of key materials from river sources in some of the areas in Kashmir Valley is also causing delay”, official sources told news agency KNS.
“Also the time period for completion of PGSY roads was assessed on the presumption of average length of 3 to 5 kms. But there are 40 road projects having length between 10 and 35 kms, aligned through hostile hilly terrain which involves rock cutting. Such projects take more time than stipulated as the work cannot be taken up simultaneously in whole of the stretch”, said an official.
When asked about the delay in completion of projects, Chief Engineer PMGSY, Hamid Ahmad said, “In Kashmir Valley weather conditions matter. And forest land is almost everywhere. In bad weather and due to delay in getting forest clearance, project completion gets delayed”. However he claimed that all rural areas of the Valley will be connected by year 2017.
He said the department was putting all possible efforts to implement the schemes and to utilize funds in time. “We constructed 83 km road in Lingshid Leh. There we had to cut down a 25 feet glacier”, he added.