Srinagar- The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday rubbished allegations of a major scam in the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission across the Union Territory.
Addressing a press conference here at DIPR Auditorium, the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Jal Shakti Department, Shaleen Kabra said that like all other States and UTs of the country Jal Jeevan Mission—a flagship program of Govt of India is being implemented in the UT of J&K with an aim to connect each and every rural household with Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC).
He said that from last few weeks, some incorrect and malafide information has been propagated in respect of the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in the UT of J&K and in this backdrop, it is imperative to make few points clear to the general public and to all the stakeholders:
“A scam of 13000 crore has been alleged when on the other hand it has been stated that only 800 Crore have been spent till August, 2023. But the public is being misled in both these aspects as neither any scam has taken place nor the figures given in respect of the expenditure are correct as the total expenditure in JJM as on 31st August is Rs.3088.30 Crores and every allotment/ contract has been awarded strictly following the process laid down in the GFR. Such allegations are complete nonsense and made by people who have no understanding,” Kabra said
He said all the works have been awarded through a transparent and competitive e-tendering system after accord of Administrative Approvals, Technical Sanctions (wherever required before tendering).
“The works have been allotted strictly as per the Financial Powers delegated vide S.0 15 of 2020 dated: 09-01-2020 and on the approvals of SBD and rates from the UT level Committee headed by the Development Commissioner Works, the senior most engineer in the UT, and with the consent of the District Jal Jeevan Missions (DJJMs) headed by the respective District Development Commissioners it may be noted that no contract has been awarded without e-tendering,” he added.
He further said that the PHE used to allot all works departmentally, against the law laid down by the Constitution and the instructions, GFR, etc.
During 2019, Kabra said, e-tendering was made mandatory. Initial attempt was made to allot these works on composite tender basis.
“Since there was very poor response due to limited capabilities in the UT, a revision was made in consultation with experts/ in accordance with guidelines. The results are there for everyone to see in terms of progress on ground. This fact has been acknowledged in the letter dated: 20th July 2022 when the person was heading the department,” he said.
He added that all the figures with regard to progress in implementation of the jai Jeevan Mission is being reported by the field Divisions on the IMIS and which is being captured and displayed on the said portal/ dashboard on a real-time basis.
“All these details viz; physical progress, financial progress, water quality monitoring reports etc. are available on the respective portals which are in public domain. The releases and expenditure by the UT, scheme wise, is available in public domain on Jan-bhagidari, as the same is made through BEAMS,” Kabra said
“The progress is being monitored through IMIS only and no physical communication is being made in this regard. Any household tap connection provided is reported on IMIS portal with Aadhar based identification. The Pani Samitis monitor the progress in addition to the engineering officials, third party monitoring agencies and DPMUs,” he added.
The ACS further said that the schemes ongoing under different other heads are also being completed and an expenditure of about Rs. 210 Crore has been made under erstwhile NRDWP, NABARD and JKIDFC Schemes.
All these schemes, he said, shall be completed within the mission period. Due diligence has improved execution of schemes under JKIDFC funding and a much less quantum is likely to be shifted from that estimated in June, 2022 — 459 schemes costing about Rs. 783.72 crores.
“All the advisories received from the Anti-Corruption Bureau J&K have been circulated to the filed officers including Deputy Commissioners for strict adherence and for corrective actions, if needed to be taken. None pointed out any malpractices or allotment of tenders without following due process,” Kabra said
He also clarified that all types of pipes (GI, DI & HDPE) are being procured through transparent and competitive e-tendering and as per the provisions of GFR/ manual for procurement of Goods 2017 A dedicated UT level Purchase Committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Development Commissioner Works, the senior most engineer in the UT, for approving the SBD and the rates before the supply orders are made by the competent authority as per SO 15 of 2020, dated 09-01-2020.
“In case of GI pipes, the purchases have been made under the existing rate contract within the provisions of Manual for Procurement of Goods 2017 after higher rates were quoted by the bidders in the fresh tender issued in this regard and to save time required for fresh tendering process, the existing rate contract has been operated by the CE PHE Kashmir on the approval of the UT Level Purchase Committee and after the decision of 6th Apex Committee Meeting within the provisions of Manual for Procurement of Goods. It is estimated to have saved about Rs. 72crores besides timely availability of GI pipes,” he said.
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