The Asian Development Bank is funding infrastructure projects worth Rs 3,400 crore in Jammu and Kashmir, where infrastructure has been the worst hit because of terrorism in the past 17 years.
Finance and Planning Minister Tariq Hameed Karra has asked the Economic Reconstruction Agency to go in for high quality visible work to meet the standards set by the Asian Development Bank.
While the first phase projects worth Rs 1,400 crore were in progress, another Rs 2,000 crore were expected for the second phase.
After putting into place a proper mechanism for execution of the multisector infrastructure development projects in the first phase of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funding, the State Government has already initiated the process for implementation of the second phase through the Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA), the nodal agency for the execution of the externally funded projects in the State.
Karra while speaking at the 4th governing body meeting of ERA said projects worth Rs 1400 crore are under execution in the first phase of ADB funding through ERA while in the second phase, the state government is expecting a funding of Rs 2000 crore for multi-sector infrastructure rehabilitation projects.
He said the draft plan the projects to be taken up for execution in the second phase of would be finalized in consultation with the concerned public representatives.
Karra, who is also the Chairman of ERA, said the four areas of concern for ADB funded projects are visibility, perception, mechanism and monitoring. He said given the hassles that are involved in securing ADB funding, the first phase projects have now reached the take-off stage and work would start in full swing on 50 road and bridge projects - costing Rs 821 crore - from April next year. He said a visible impact on the ground would be possible only by October 2009 as all these projects are scheduled to be completed by that time.
To ensure proper monitoring of the ADB funded schemes, the Governing decided that three legislators one each from Kashmir valley, Jammu region and Ladakh division, who already are in the ERA Governing Body, would also be co-opted as the members of the monitoring committee.
Accordingly, Mohammad Sartaj Madni, MLA Devsar would be the member of the monitoring committee for the Kashmir valley, Yogesh Sawhney for the Jammu region and Ghulam Raza for the Ladakh division.
As most of the projects in the second phase would be in Urban Development sector, the meeting also decided to co-opt Secretary Housing and Urban Development as a member of the ERA Governing Body to avoid any duplicity of projects.
Earlier, making a presentation about the progress of the projects under implementation in the first phase of ADB funding, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ERA, Vijay Bakaya said that out of the Rs 1,400 crore funding available for works in this phase, Rs 821 crore have been earmarked for the transport sector involving upgradation of roads and bridges, Rs 280 crore for urban sector involving rehabilitation of water supply, drainage and sewerage schemes in Srinagar and Jammu cities and Rs 280 crore for purchase of equipment including garbage and drain cleaners.