SRINAGAR: The Government today said metro projects would be taken up in Srinagar and Jammu under multilateral funding from Japanese Official Developmental Assistance (JODA) as a part of rapid transit proposed by reputed development consultancy RITES.
This information was given at a high-level meeting convened here today to review the progress of projects being executed by the Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency (JKERA). The meeting was chaired by Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti, who is also the chairperson of ERA.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Kumar Singh, Minister for Forests, Choudhary Lal Singh, Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu, Chief Secretary, Mr B R Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Mr Navin Kumar Choudhary, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr Asghar Hassan Samoon and Commissioner Secretary Housing & Urban Development Department, Mr Hirdesh Kumar were present at the meeting.
It was decided in the meeting that the Housing and Urban Development Department will act as the nodal department for firming up the metro projects for two capital cities in consultation with the RITES.
Taking a review of the other projects being executed by ERA, the Chief Minister asked the Agency to strictly adhere to fixed timelines and monitor the pace of work on a fortnightly basis.
She also called for devising an effective mechanism which binds contractors to delivering the projects on time, as the State government cannot afford any spill-over of externally-aided projects funded by ADB (Asian Development Bank) to the State Plan, if they stretch beyond March 31, 2017. J&K ERA should mobilize men and machinery to ensure that there is no delay in commissioning of the projects within fixed timelines, she added.
Asking ERA to broaden the scope of its activities, the Chief Minister observed that the Special Purpose Vehicle was created with the primary objective to fast-track urban infrastructure projects for creation of durable assets as well as becoming a model for other executing agencies in successfully implementing the externally aided infrastructure projects. She further added that given the limited financial resources available, it will be difficult for the State government to take over ongoing ADB projects if they are not completed within the stipulated timeframes. The Planning Department will monitor the ongoing works on fortnightly basis to ensure that there is no further delay and that all ongoing projects are fully completed on time, she said.
Some of the prestigious projects reviewed by the Chief Minister today included Jahangir Chowk-Rambagh Expressway Corridor in Srinagar, Bikram Chowk Flyover at Jammu, Landfill Site at Achan Srinagar, 30 MLD Sewerage Treatment Plant at Jammu, construction of OHTs and replacement of worn-out PHE pipes both at Srinagar and Jammu, besides projects relating to sewerage and drainage and capacity building of sectors like H&UD and PHE departments as well as equipment for delivery mechanism under municipal functions.
On current status of work on prestigious flyovers in the two capital cities, the meeting was informed that ERA is expediting the pace of work so that these are positively completed by March, 2017. The CEO ERA informed the meeting that the Srinagar flyover project received a setback due to 2014 floods as heavy machinery involved in its construction was totally submerged.
He also said that the work on the Grade Separator being constructed near Radio Station will be completed within the adhered time-frame.
On multi-level car parking, which is coming up at KMD in Srinagar, CEO ERA said the work is going on in the right earnest and will be completed soon. He also presented a detailed status report on projects completed in Loan-I under MSPIRJK (Multi-Sector Project for Infrastructure Rehabilitation), in which 117 sub projects were taken up at a cost involving Rs 1611 crore. As many as 107 of these sub projects have been completed which include works related to augmentation of water supply, drainage & sanitation, equipment and roads and bridges.
In ongoing Loan II for which fund flow started in 2007, ERA is executing works under Urban Sector Development & Investment Programme (USDIP) which have to be completed by March 31, 2017. Under the multi-tranche financing facility, an amount of Rs 1694 crore will be spent in solid waste management, urban transport, capacity building and equipment for PHE and Municipal Corporations.
While obtaining status of work on Landfill Site at Achan, the Chief Minister directed Commissioner SMC to cover all commercial areas of the city in Phase I of waste segregation. In Phase II, she said the scope of solid waste management may be broadened by involving around 1.50 lakh households in the summer capital over the next three months. The Chief Minister observed that option of involving private companies may be explored for waste segregation under their Corporate Social Responsibility.
While Cell I at Achan landfill site has been filled, capped and closed, Cell II is currently in use and will last for the next three months.
IGP Traffic, Viplav Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Lone, Commissioner, SMC, Bashir Khan, CEO ERA, Vinod Sharma and other officers of ERA also attended the meeting.
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