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J&K authorities mismanage funds worth over Rs 1 crore causing delay in ADR centre

Last Updated on May 7, 2021 at 8:18 am

Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs is reported to unwisely use advance funds causing diversion of material worth Rs 0.44 crore and blocking of Rs 0.89 crore. As a result of this mismanagement, Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) centre failed to be constructed even after eight long years in Jammu’s Udhampur district.

It can be found in Documents that out of 22 Administrative districts in the State, ADR centres are operating in eight districts (Anantnag, Baramulla, Shopian, Srinagar, Pulwama, Leh, Jammu, Kathua). ADR centre building is fully constructed but not inaugurated in four districts (Bandipora, Kupwara, Budgam, Poonch); under construction in two districts (Kulgam, Samba); tenders are finalised in one district (in Doda at Bhaderwah); land for ADR centre not identified in six districts (Ganderbal, Rajouri, Ramban, Reasi, Kishtwar, Kargil); lack of land for construction in one district (Udhampur).

Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a process through which disputes are resolved between two or more parties outside court room. It involves early neutral evaluation, negotiation, mediation and arbitration. Official documents note that on the authority of Registrar Rules (Co-ordinator), High Court of Jammu and Kashmir presented in February 2011 a technical report for construction of Mediation Centre/Alternate Dispute Resolution building in District court complex Udhampur at an estimated cost of Rs 0.96 crore which was later revised in October 2011 to Rs 1.33 crore.

13th Finance Commission funded this project. It was scheduled to be completed in two years after first instalment of funds gets released. In September 2012, Executive Engineer of PWD (R&B) Division in Udhampur allotted the work to M/S Open Survey World Proprietor for Rs 0.92 crore. Deadline given to contractor was set to July 2013. However, the contractor failed to start the work because a part of land on which building was set to build had sheds for the lawyers which they were not willing to leave.

Rs 0.44 crore were spent on purchasing materials like cement: 8,534 bags and Tar Steel: 10.213 Metric Tons. Since this project could not be started so this was sent to other works including Health and National Rural Health Mission Schemes.

Funds amounting Rs 0.89 crore were further sent to division during 2014-15 and 2015-16 which were also not used and were transferred to the civil deposits. Authorities withdrew funds to avoid lapse of grant which violates Rule 2-33 of Jammu and Kashmir Financial Code. Department forwarded funds to executing division without ensuring that sufficient land is available for construction. It resulted in diversion of material worth Rs 0.44 crore and blocking of Rs 0.89 crore for more than five years.