Only 25% work on STP for Patnitop despite lapse of 3 yrs -
Only 25% work on STP for Patnitop despite lapse of 3 yrs
Posted 16 Feb 2018 03:35 PM

The much-needed Sewerage Treatment Plant for the tourist resort of Patnitop has become the victim of poor planning on the part of Urban Environmental Engineering Department as only 25% work has been executed during the past three years. Moreover, nobody knows whether the project will become reality even during next two years.
The design and construction of 1.20 Million Liters Per Day (MLD) Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) including trunk laying, lateral and house connection chambers at Patnitop and all other works contingent thereto along with operation and maintenance for a period of 24 months on turnkey basis was allotted in March 2015 by Chief Engineer, Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED).
The STP was allotted to a firm at a negotiated cost of Rs 11.60 crore and it was proposed to be completed within a period of two years. The firm was also given mobilization advance of Rs 58 lakh and consultation fee of Rs 21.90 lakh.
However, the fate of the much-needed Sewerage Treatment Plant is still hanging in balance as certain vital aspects were not given any serious thought at the initial stage by the UEED, which functions under the administrative control of Housing and Urban Development Department headed by Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh.
The firm laid only 1250 meter sewer line against the target of 9929 meter and thereafter the work had to be stopped in November 2015 for want of No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Forest Department. The work remained suspended till March last year.
“Though UEED has reportedly obtained the clearance from the Forest Department and work was restored up to certain extent yet it is going on at snail’s pace for want of funds as due to delay in execution of work the cost of the project has escalated”, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
Disclosing that only 25% work has been executed on the much needed STP so far, sources said, “the completion of project depends on release of funds by the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department under PMDP”.
Stating that a new obstacle has also emerged in the way of execution of the work, they said, “some portion of the sewer line is also coming under the alignment of the Patnitop Ropeway Project and the same is required to be altered”.
“All this clearly establishes that poor planning on the part of UEED has acted as hurdle in the smooth execution of the project, which otherwise is of immense importance from environment protection point of view”, sources said.
The Accountant General (Audit) J&K, in its report, has also held poor planning by UEED responsible for the hanging fate of the vital project.
Moreover, flagrant violation of J&K Financial Code and Public Works Accounts Code has become a routine in Sewerage and Drainage and Town Drainage Wing of the Housing and Urban Development Department.
J&K Financial Code provides that all the works required to be executed should be given wide publicity through tenders/quotations and subsequently works should be allotted to the lowest tender after preparing the comparative statement.
Moreover, under Public Works Account Code works of only emergent nature are allowed to be executed departmentally through contractors. However, the Accountant General has noticed that maximum works were being executed departmentally in blatant violation of Financial Code and Public Works Account Code.
As per the report of Accountant General, an amount of Rs 5.31 crore had been incurred by ULB Division-II Jammu, Town Drainage Division Jammu and S&D Division-II Jammu on the works executed departmentally on the directions of higher authorities and public representatives.
Dubbing the stance of the officers as untenable, the Accountant General said, “construction of drains, black-topping and laying of tiles in lanes and protection walls and covers for nullahs cannot be termed as emergent nature works”.
It is a matter of concern that higher authorities and public representatives were instrumental in violation of Financial Code and Public Works Account Code. “It is unbecoming on the part of public representatives to allow the officers to throw to winds the laid down norms and guidelines”.

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