*Changes to be made as the Council Chamber is no longer required
JAMMU, 10 September: Work on the new Legislative Complex in Jammu will resume shortly as the process has been initiated for granting administrative approval and releasing remaining funds. In addition, changes will be made to some parts of the structure as the Legislative Council Chamber is no longer needed given the abolition of the Upper House.
Official sources have told EXCELSIOR that successive governments have continued to release funds for the new legislative complex after securing agreement from the finance and planning departments, but the rules which rely on the agreement of an approval formal administrative procedures were not taken seriously.
Out of the estimated cost of Rs 194.34 crore, an amount of Rs 97.57 crore has been paid by successive governments to the executing agency – Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC) and an expenditure of Rs 95 crore was carried out in the complex.
However, in recent years, work has stalled on the project because after the former state split into two union territories, the administration noticed that administrative approval had not been granted to the project in flagrant violation of the rules.
Accordingly, instructions were given to the JKPCC to obtain the necessary exercise to obtain administrative approval and even plan changes in the structure, particularly in light of the fact that the Upper House no longer exists and that the space created for the same will be of no use. use unless certain changes are made, sources informed.
“As the previous architect of the complex expressed his inability to make changes to some parts of the structure, JKPCC issued tenders to hire a new architect and this exercise is also over now,” sources said. , adding that “the JKPCC has also conveyed to the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs that the changes have been incorporated into the detailed project report and that the Company is ready to make a detailed presentation on it”.
It would only be after the approval of the changes suggested by the architect that formal administrative approval will be given to the JKPCC to restart work and the balance funds will be released, sources said, adding that the completion of the project will take at least one more. year from the date of resumption of work.
Asked about the project’s cost escalation, sources said “obviously the cost will increase as no work has been done in the last few years,” adding “the cost escalation will only be resolved.” after approval of the amended design, which provides for the use of the Legislative Council Chamber and other related spaces for multiple activities”.
It is pertinent to mention here that as per the provisions of the J&K Reorganization Act, there is no Legislative Council in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. While J&K UT has been endowed with a Legislative Assembly, the Union Territory of Ladakh has none of the Houses of Legislature.
The foundation stone for the project was laid by the Chief Minister of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir in April 2011. The five-storey building will have parking at the lower and upper basements with a parking capacity for at least 150 cars/light vehicles and 100 scooters/motorbikes. He will have a direct link with the secretariat of the Chief Minister.
The project was initially started on the conceptual design, but later the full DPR and design was prepared by involving a Delhi-based consultancy firm. However, administrative approval was not obtained.
“The current government has made it clear that administrative approval and technical sanction are essential for the start of work on any project and hopefully, as soon as possible, work on the new legislative complex will resume,” said an official from the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation. Ltd while wishing anonymity.