The Jammu and Kashmir Stores and Procurement department is on death bed due to the apathy and inefficiency of the officials at the helm of its affairs. It is surprising to know that the department has not procured any material from last one year. “We have not bought any material from one year. I can say that our stores both in Srinagar and Jammu are running out of stock,” Deputy Director Central told KNS. The department was established with the sole aim of arranging key construction material to Engineering or non-engineering Departments in the State, however sources said that despite the hefty budgets were provided by the government, the department have failed to utilize it properly over the years for the reasons best to known to them. Sources reveled that the non availability certificates or on sale in SPD. “The indenting departments put up requisition and obtain non availability certificate there by giving escape route to the engineering departments for buying material from the open market,” sources said. Sources informed that the officers posted in this department are not performing well which has resulted in the mess of department. One of the senior government official said that if government wants to run this department, then it needs a complete overhaul by shifting the present incumbent. Already reported that the recent case of its failure was reported when the department failed to supply bitumen to the Kashmir based departments and gave wrong information to PWD about having sufficient stocks of the said item. “The government had to face humiliation before the pubic for taking up the up-gradation of the roads of Srinagar and other areas of Kashmir valley after floods,”. All the government departments forward their yearly requirement to the stores procurement department with the sole aim of timely supply but hardly these projected items on demand are available. The main objective of the department was to consolidate the yearly requirements of different Engineering or non-engineering Departments in the State of J&K in terms of key construction material mainly cement, Steel in all shapes including TMT bars, MS Rolled sections, MS plates, Galvanized plain and corrugated sheets. Black annealed wire for crates for flood protection and restoration works and Bitumen for road construction and other material as per the requirement of Departments. Sources added that because of the failure of SPD, a thought persist with the government to see that the activities of the SPD is put on hold till such time a complete review is taken. “The R&B minister Altaf Bukhari was furious at a time when the stores this department failed to make the supplies. The minister was informed that the department has not come up to the expectations,” sources said. Also reported that the department who holds key position does not have any testing laboratory and is banking on third party inspection. “As per practice in vogue it is a mandatory requirement to conduct quality test of each item under supply to state departments. The Department is headed by Chief Engineer/Director with one Superintending Engineer/Joint Director, three Executive Engineers/Deputy Directors and six Assistant Executive Engineers/Assistant Directors. It has two central stores, one each in Jammu and Pampore spread over 64 kanals and 135 kanals respectively, catering to demands of the two regions.
2015 Kashmir Despatch