Many Water Supply Schemes in Jammu and Kashmir are being executed without being referred to Jammu & Kashmir State Water Resources Regulatory Authority (JKSWRRA). As a result, people are being suspicious about authenticity of such schemes and their implementation.
Jammu and Kashmir government established J&K Water Resources (Regulation & Management) Act, 2010 in January 2011. It mentions that water supply schemes of PHE Department must be evaluated by the Jammu & Kashmir State Water Resources Regulatory Authority (JKSWRRA) before execution.
From time period between 2013 and 2018, PHE initiated 247 new schemes and only 53 (21 per cent) were referred to the JKSWRRA. Out of these 53, five schemes were approved and 48 were returned because of DPR problems, enclosed checklist, source information, quality of water available, safety, and environment measures.
The right procedure would have been to rectify these errors and get approval but the Department executed all these schemes without caring about due procedure. Out of these 48 WSS which were returned, 40 of them were in the sampled divisions and were ongoing. Concerned Chief Engineers should have forwarded all new schemes for approval to JKSWRRA before initiating them. Secretary of JKSWRRA said that there was an absence of authority from October 2015 to November 2017. There were instructions to get schemes approved by the Government through a cabinet note as a one-time exception. The government has said to direct all executing divisions that no schemes under NRDWP can be executed with approval of JKSWRRA.
Department utilized funds ranging from 86 to 94 percent during 2013-14 to 2017-18. A difference of Rs 2.01 crore and Rs 5.33 crore in the opening balance vs closing balance on 1st April 2014 and 1st April 2017 was noticed. Department attributed this difference to interest amount of bank and interest received from various divisions on NRDWP funds. Government funds kept on decreasing in this time period from Rs 474.41 crore (2014-15) to Rs 192.12 crore (2015-16) and Rs 225.14 crore (2016-17). In 2017-18, Rs 1586.47 crore were needed for completion of 873 ongoing water supply schemes for which only Rs 281.45 crore were provided and remaining Rs 1305.02 crore were not sanctioned.
From 2000-01 to 2015-16, 873 water supply schemes were considered for execution for Rs 2,348.38 crore. But 832 schemes remained incomplete because of insufficient funding and 23 due to non-funding.