Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jammu Intl Convention Centre

Finance Deptt major road block in completion of project
Jammu Intl Convention Centre no where in sight
even after 14 yrs 

 The prestigious International Convention Centre, Jammu, proposed on the pattern of Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre, Srinagar (SKICC), is no where in sight even after fourteen (14) long years despite the Government claim of having spent over ` 11.46 crore on the project.

Finance and Planning Department is said to be the major road-block in the timely completion of this project of immense public importance in the winter capital city here. The work on the Jammu Intl Convention Centre (JICC), which is coming up on Canal Road near State Guest House, was launched in 1998 after it got Administrative approval for an amount of ` 12.21 crore.

Official sources said that an amount of ` 11.46 crore has already been spent on this project till date. After the utilization of the funds out of the initial plan of `12.46 crore the work was suspended for several years. Inadequate provision, rather stoppage of funds stalled the project and even the contracting agencies involved in the project abandoned the work.

In view of the cost escalation over this period, the project cost has now been revised at ` 24.61 crore. Apart from the funds already utilized on the project, additional funds to the tune of ` 13.15 crore are yet required for the completion of the work on this Jammu Convention Centre.

The sources further revealed that the funding to the project has now been stopped for the last several years. The issue was even raised by several Jammu legislators in the Upper and the Lower House of the Legislature. They pointed out that for holding big conventions, there was no such avenue available in the winter capital city. For most of the functions here, the people have to remain dependant on Cultural Academy's auditorium where the space was not sufficient. It was pity that due to paucity of funds, the contracting agency has left the work half way and Government did not show much interest in this important project.

After the revival of project cost, the concerned department has sent the proposal to the Planning and Finance Department. The proposal is still lying before the Finance Department for the last several years. The Finance Department is said to be sitting over the file and after the file is approved, the proposal would go to the State Cabinet for final approval to the revised cost. The project will be completed only if Finance Department accords its clearance, subject to the availability of funds', the sources added.

It may be recalled that the issue was raised in the Upper House by NC member Vijay Bakaya last year and again during this Session by Ajay Sadhotra from the same party. The Government during last year also had assured the members of the House from this region for making funds available for this project of public importance and its early completion but the things have even today remained unmoved. Now, when the funds will be made available for this Jammu project, only the Finance Ministry knows?

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