Administrative Council overhauls JMC
Delegates powers to grant technical sanctions to CEs working on deputation to identified organizations; approves J&K Road Classification & Road Gazette-2022
STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: To make the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) more efficient, effective and focused in its operations, the Administrative Council (AC) which met here under the chairmanship of the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, approved the proposal of Housing and Urban Development Department to reorganize the Corporation.
Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary and Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor attended the meeting.
The decision has been taken in consideration of the fact that JMC has grown from an initial number of 23 wards covering an area of 32 sq. km to 71 wards spread over 112 sq. km, without any corresponding increase in its manpower or infrastructure. Currently, against the total sanctioned strength of 2623 posts, 1540 regular employees are in position, whereas 1741 workers have been outsourced with additional 724 on casual/ contractual arrangement. The annual expenditure incurred by JMC on this account is Rs. 106.81 crore.
Post reorganization, the Jammu Municipal Corporation will have dedicated wings for administration, revenue, health and sanitation, solid waste management, building, accounts & planning, legal, veterinary, transport, informatics, engineering, floriculture and miscellaneous activities.
Accordingly, some positions will be outsourced with the twin objective of hiring the staff as per requirement without much stress on the resources and ensuring association of technical experts with the Corporation. Further, to provide fillip to the agency’s revenue generation towards establishing a self-sustainable model of local governance, JMC will also be able to levy Property Tax; revise building permission fee; revise rent in respect of shops, open spaces and buildings; rationalize existing fleet/ vehicles; auction materials; levy charges in respect of water filling; collect tower fee; enhance compounding fee in respect of impounded items and goods, among others.
The Administrative Council also approved an additional financial grant of Rs 3.26 crore per annum for optimal functioning of the Jammu Municipal Corporation.
By another decision, the Administrative Council approved the proposal of Public Works (R&B) Department to delegate the authority to provide technical sanctions to projects among various senior engineers posted in sister agencies of Public Works (R&B) Department on deputation basis. Currently, the power to grant technical sanctions for various projects vests entirely with the officers and engineers posted in the Public Works (R&B) Department, which exponentially increases the work load in the Department and consequently leads to avoidable delays in project execution. Accord of Technical Sanction involves careful analysis of specifications, cost estimates as well as feasibility studies.
With the delegation of powers to the engineers on deputation to other departments, each Department will now be able to grant timely sanction to projects for their expeditious commencement and completion. Pertinently, the GFR 2017 provides that no works are to be commenced or liability incurred without obtaining proper Administrative Approval and Technical Sanction by competent authority. The Administrative Council also approved the adoption of Jammu and Kashmir Road Classification & Road Gazette- 2022. The Jammu and Kashmir Road Classification & Road Gazette-2022 will guide the effective management of road infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir through a systematic documentation of roads. The Road Gazette will serve as an inventory of all roads in the Union Territory besides serving the Department in prioritization of up-gradation works and planning future infrastructure. The Road Gazette will guide the Department in achieving its endeavor to bring uniformity, transparency and accountability in the functioning of the Department. Earlier, the Department has introduced J&K PWD Engineering Manual 2021 last year and more recently Bridge and Macadamization Manuals to provide standard guidelines for framing proposals, estimation, standardization of bidding documents and ensuring quality control in works, in accordance with the latest practices in the field.