New Delhi: The Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP), country's specialised mountain force which is guarding 3,488 kilometres of Indo-China border has told Central Public Works Department (CPWD) responsible for public sector works to learn from China and Gulf countries where construction is smooth and fast.
ITBP is manning border outposts on an altitude ranging from 9,000 to 18,700 feet in the western, middle and eastern sectors of the China border. Of 146 projects of the ITBP amounting Rs 1,679 crore, 87 projects are running behind the schedule and 13 projects are delayed by more than two years.
In a meeting to discuss the issue, Director General (DG) of ITBP SS Deswal told the CPWD officials that pace of construction in China is very fast and CPWD must evolve a mechanism to address the delay. Minutes of the meeting reviewed by Firstpost quoted DG’s suggestions.
“We are a very-very progressive country, if a project delays the country's development gets delayed. When we see around in different countries, the construction is done at a very-very fast pace whether we go to Gulf or we go to China. China almost constructs one floor per week and their speed of the construction of the building is very very fast. The CPWD is requested to evolve some new systems so that the projects are completed in time,” DG ITBP said in the meeting.
DG ITBP said that some of the projects are inordinately delayed and in the current age there should be no space for the delay. He also mentioned his recent visit to Qatar, which is hosting 2022 FIFA world cup.
Minutes of the meeting quoted DG, ITBP as saying: “The process of construction of roads and buildings is too fast and they are working 24x7. If we have to grow as a country and to be compatible with other developed countries then the pace of construction needs to be raised.”
According to the documents reviewed by Firstpost, work has not even started three years after the sanction of men barrack at Namli camp, Gangtok in Sikkim while the renovation of quarters at Faridabad has been delayed for more than two years.
ITBP project at Kimin in Arunachal Pradesh is delayed by 32 months while at 20th battalion at Aalo in West Siang district, the construction of the barrack is delayed by 27 months. Two projects at Tezu in Lohitpur, Arunachal Pradesh has been delayed by 26 months.
There are 16 works of ITBP which have cost overrun. In one such case, the cost overrun is 31 percent of the original cost and in another, it is more than 90 percent in excess without prior approval of the competent authority. The ITBP requested CPWD authorities to get all the 13 works which are delayed by more than two years, should be all completed on priority by 31 March 2020 so that the force may be able to utilise these infrastructures.
Even the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had raised the issue of delays earlier in the first week of this month. A letter from Javed Akhtar, Special DG, CRPF reviewed reveals that lot of work sanctioned in August 2019 is yet to take off.
"In spite of five months have passed, no progress has been made in these works. This portrays the organization (CPRF) in poor light before Ministry of Home Affairs. Various works of Rs.282 Crore were sanctioned for group centre, CRPF, Chandauli during May 2019, but they have neither been awarded nor started," Special DG, CRPF had written to CPWD.
Besides, other paramilitary forces like the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Border Security Force (BSF) have raised the issue with the CPWD on construction. It is learnt that the BSF raised the concerns at a meeting held on 23 January. In a letter on 27 January 2020, the CPWD said twin issues of slow progress in the utilisation of funds and delay in starting work despite approval was the common concern raised by the paramilitary forces.
A directive was also issued to all concerned officers to review all the works of the paramilitary forces and progress of utilisation of funds, which the letter said, should be done within the financial year.
Updated Date: Feb 07, 2020 15:40:16 IST