There are allegations that the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department has run more than 600 schemes during 2013-18 without getting approval from Administration and Technical Sanction which is in complete violation of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) guidelines.
Sources told that NRDWP guidelines clarify that once the finalization of Detailed Project Reports is over, which is performed once in a year, it must be placed in the State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee (SLSSC) meeting for getting approval. There are strict guidelines that no work will be executed and no expenditure will be committed unless the scheme is Administratively Approved and Technically Sanctioned.
Sources told that in many divisions across Jammu and Kashmir, 900 schemes were being carried out during 2013-18. Out of the total 900 schemes, 600 of these schemes which cost hundreds of crores were not granted the Administrative Approval and Technical Sanction.
Administrative Approval is very important for free flow of funds as these schemes are executed and Technical Sanction assures that the scheme is viable. Sources said that these both components, once sanctioned as per the rules, put the responsibility for successful completion of these schemes on the officers who issued these approvals.
If these important components are absent from execution of any scheme, then the expenditure on these schemes is not acceptable as neither the fund flow nor the successful technical viability of that particular scheme is ensured. As a result, funds spent on the schemes without any Administrative Approval and Technical Sanction is termed as irregular.
The State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee has many times directed the department to get schemes administratively approved before releasing any amount of funds but, unfortunately, very few divisions have followed the rules.