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Over 600 development works delayed in 75 wards as JMC awaits funds under city grants

Ahead of civic polls and end of the financial year 2022-23, the paucity of funds has hit the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), which virtually frozen nearly 600 developmental works worth 26 crores in all 75 wards for which work orders have been already issued.

The term of present Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Municipal Corporation will end in October 2023 and at this situation every councilor of all 75 wards of Jammu want to get maximum development work done in this year, but they are helpless due to non-release of 26 crores (35 lakh each for 75 ward) under City Grants 2022-2023, for which tender and works orders have been already issued.

As per official sources if not released in a few days the funds will be lapsed in the next three to four months, with the end of financial year 2022-23.

Sources added that former JMC mayor Chandra Mohan Gupta had announced Rs.35 lakh for the development of each ward. They added that officers were instructed to prepare estimates and float tenders. In almost every ward, the corporators marked the works on the basis of their priority. Estimates were made and then the corporation administration also invited tenders while completing the formalities.

Tenders for some works were opened and the work was handed over to the contractors but on ground works were yet to be taken off due to non availability of promised 35 Lakh and development works came to a grinding halt from last six months in all 75 wards of the city.

Sources further said that around 600 works, mostly lanes and drains works were identified under this fund and in some cases the old lanes were uprooted to construct new but all these works are still pending because this fund is yet to be released from the civil secretariat.

As per officials’ sources, the civic body is presently facing a fund crunch and has mounting liabilities while incoming revenues have not kept pace with the rising expenditure.

The councillors who are preparing to face local body elections in next nine months are also annoyed with this development. According to sources in the corporation, the liabilities of the civic agency have accrued on account of different works which were taken up since the past one year.

The shortfall in revenues also led to non-payment to contractors while incoming revenues on account of infrastructure development fund (IDF) has also dried up

“We submitted a Contract Deficiency Report (CDR) to JMC for work order. Lakhs have been stuck in the process from the last six months but funds have not been released yet to carry out works,” a civic contractor said on anonymity.

Sources said that civic body officials have written to union territory officials for immediate release of funds, but to no avail.

The councilors on the other hand say that civic body officials are solely responsible for the present situation and pending works in around 75 residential wards are being held up due to the paucity of funds.

“Construction or repair of roads, drainage and other civic infrastructure works are pending. We have to face local residents in our wards and they keep asking us about the pending projects. Last year, the board approved 35 lakh worth developmental works for each ward but amount is yet to be paid,” said Sham Lal, Independent councilor of ward number 48.

Sources said that an amount of over crore is yet to be received from the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory government on account of infrastructure development funds.

Another councilor Amit Gupta from ward 19 said that the BJP led Corporation gave hollow promises. He said we were promised to get over 1 cr each for development works in wards which later reduced to 35 lakh but till date the amount has not been released and lots of works are still pending.

Several attempts to contact Mayor Rajinder Sharma were futile. However JMC Commissioner Rahul Yadav said that the Civil Secretariat apprised of the issue and funds will be released soon.

“We have written to the Civil Secretariat for release of funds. We are hopeful that funds will be released soon and the works will be completed as per schedule,” said Commissioner Yadav.

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