Legal Metrology Department of Jammu and Kashmir has failed to utilize Rs 1.18 crore because of absence of a driver to operate mobile cranes fitted with weighbridge testing kits.
Documents reveal that the Legal Metrology Department couldn’t find the driver and trained staff for operating mobile cranes along with weighbridge testing kits granted by the Government of India worth Rs 1.18 crore.
Legal Metrology Department received two mobile cranes fitted with weighbridge testing kits in December 2008 and March 2012 from the Government of India (GoI) under the scheme ‘Strengthening of Weights and Measures Infrastructure’.
In March 2009, Deputy Controller of Legal Metrology in Jammu expected that Rs 10 lakh can be made per annum by use of these mobile testing kits. In November 2011, the J&K administration set user fee at Rs 2,000 for utilising mobile kit loaded with testing weights for verifying weighbridges installed across the State.
One mobile crane which was received in December 2008 could not be used till May 2010 because driver/ operator was not available who could operate it. From May 2010 to November 2010, a driver was sent from the Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) and it was used for seven months and 11 weighbridges were verified.
This mobile crane was not used from November 2010 because funds were not available to run it. So it was stored in a private industry premise where its rear tyres were stolen.
In August 2012, Joint Controller of Legal Metrology in Jammu requested Director of Legal Metrology, GoI for withdrawing this vehicle because it had a large size and it couldn’t be used in the lanes and by-lanes of industrial units of Jammu to maximum capacity. GoI sent another mobile crane in March 2012. It was used from February 2015 to June 2018 after a driver was found. However, this driver left and the mobile crane remained non-functional from July 2018.
The department said that they verified only 887 weigh bridges from 2009-18 and received Rs 17.74 lakh for them. 171 weighbridges were verified/re-verified through testing kit and remaining 716 weighbridges were passed without any verification. So, only Rs 3.42 lakh were received through user fees.
These mobile cranes which costed Rs 1.18 crore have largely remained useless without drivers. The Department collected user fee of Rs 17.74 lakh from 2009 to 2018, which is very less than expected Rs 90 lakh.