Friday, July 10, 2009

Rakh-i-Arth being developed at Rs 400 Cr: Dy CM

Work on Jammu-Srinagar sewerage project costing Rs 262 Cr on swift pace

Rs 55 Cr earmarked for slum clearance in Jammu & Srinagar

With vigorous and round the clock work Housing and Urban Development Department has succeeded in developing first phase of Rakh-i- Arth where Dal and Nageen Dwellers are being shifted. At present the department is ready to settle 1000 families and work is on accelerated pace to rehabilitate 4600 families very soon. This was revealed to the Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Tara Chand who chaired a high level officers meeting convened to review the projects taken under Housing and Urban Development Department (H&UDD) here today. In the meeting threadbare discussions were held on the achievements registered under Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) which include schemes taken like Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT), Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme, (IHSDP) and Basic Service for Urban Poor, (BSUP). The meeting was attended by Commissioner/Secretary, Housing & Urban Development Department, Mrs. Naseema Lankar, Commissioner, Municipality, Khawaja Farooq Renzu, Director Local Bodies Jammu, Mr. Khursheed Bhat,Vice Chairman, LAWDA, Mr. Irfan Yaseen and senior officers and engineers of PHE, UEED, NBCC, LAWDA from Jammu and Srinagar. Mr. Tara Chand emphasized the need to provide better urban facilities to the urbanites and ruralites of the state. He said that with the help of liberal funding from the Centre, the government is committed to change the urban landscape of towns and cities of the state. Adding that various projects for urban development have been taken up by H&UDD, which are under different stages of completion and by the end of the current financial year results of the same would be visible on the ground. The Deputy Chief Minister while taking review of the projects taken up under Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP) said that under the scheme urban poor population of the mission cities of Jammu and Srinagar would be provided with developed urban facilities. Under the scheme, Rakh-i-Arth colony is being developed at an accelerated pace in Srinagar city and similarly at Jammu two colonies are under development at Rajiv Nagar and Bhagwati Nagar. While taking stock of the facilities being developed at Rakh-i-Arth, Mr. Tara Chand gave on the spot instructions to the concerned Chief Engineer to accelerate the work of laying water pipes besides exploring possibilities for having tube well in the area for providing regular water supply to the families who would be shifted soon.

The Deputy Chief Minister taking a strong note of the delays in execution of the projects said that the line and executing agencies should work in close coordination. He stressed for taking of the multiple activities involved in the project execution simultaneously by increasing manpower and rescheduling the working hours in double and triple shifts. The Minister asked for installing notice boards giving details about the date of commencement of work and its scheduled date of completion. While taking review of the under execution sewerage project in the two capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar, it was told that work is on swift case on various sewerage projects involving a total cost of Rs 262 crore. It was further told that 9.5 km trunk sewer line has been laid besides 12.50 km of lateral sewer in the Srinagar city for better sewerage management in the city. Taking stock of various projects taken up under IHSDP, the meeting was informed that Rs 55 crore have been earmarked for slum clearance in the city. The Deputy Chief Minister while taking stock of the progress under ISHDP for proper solid waste management was informed that project worth Rs 1.43 crores are nearing completion in the towns of Bhadarwah and Doda. The Deputy Chief Minister directed the Deputy Commissioner Samba immediately handover the identified land to the concerned authority so that the work on the solid waste management project could be taken up at the earliest in the Samba town.

Multi-crore Waqf scandal likely to unveil faces of bigwigs

Clandestine backdoor appointments’ scandal: 4-5 persons appointed from one family

Since the time scandals and bungling of Muslim Waqf Board have been detected, startling revelations have come to fore about frauds committed by bigwigs of main Opposition party, which during their own management time, resorted to multi-crore fraudulent execution of works without tenders. Highly-placed sources revealed that nearly 400 backdoor appointments have been established, majority out of which are of those persons who are close relatives of the members of the previous Board, closely associated with this particular party. The investigations have revealed that 4-5 persons were appointed from one family alone. Purchase of 33 safes without undertaking proper tendering procedure has also been discovered, sources said, adding that the status report of the Probe Committee, once it becomes public, will ruffle many feathers in this political party. People of the State, especially those in Kashmir valley, are waiting with bated breath for the outcome of the status report, which will be submitted by the three-Member Probe Committee constituted to make public wholesale irregularities committed by the previous Board. As has been reported earlier, during the meeting taken to review the performance by Muslim Waqf Board on July 2, it was revealed that number of employees of the Board had been more than doubled raising the wage bill of the Board employees to Rs. 6 crore from Rs. 2 crore. Various works had been started without proper tendering and expenditures made without approval. Besides, fixed deposits with banks running into crores of rupees were withdrawn without any sanction of the Board and the utilization of the money remains unexplained. Safes worth lakhs of rupees were purchased which now lie in storage as there was no requirement for these. Purchases were made without transparency and it appears to have been done to benefit a handful of vested interests at the cost of the ziarats and devotees.

All this, necessitated a thorough investigation to expose the multi-crore scam committed to loot public assets of the Waqf Board.

It was also revealed in the meeting that since the time of conversion of Muslim Auqaf Trust into Muslim Waqf Board, the last Board had virtually turned its functioning into a government department. It was added that Muslim Auqaf Trust constituted with the objective of maintaining, preserving and upgrading mosques, shrines and other Waqf properties besides rendering service to the Muslims, had lost its goal.

Sources disclosed that Probe Committee has nailed many top notch personalities belonging to this particular party in mismanaging the affairs of the Board and destroying the aura of a pious religious organization.

Sources also revealed that many Muslim religious organizations, which are aghast over the financial embezzlements committed by the previous Board, have sought a CBI probe to bring wrongdoers to book. Pertinently, Mufti-e-Azam Mufti Bashir-ud-din had also welcomed the investigation to unearth the scandals in the Muslim Waqf Board. He had said whosoever had resorted to massive illegal appointments, executed multi-crore works and made purchases without floating of tenders should be identified and immediately brought to justice.