JAMMU: In his second tenure as head of the controversial Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation Limited (JKPCC), Secretary to the Government, Planning, Development and Monitoring Department M. Raju (IAS-2005 J&K cadre) has reportedly started the process to stem rot in the organisation, which has been hogging headlines for wrong reasons. Sources told STATE TIMES that M. Raju, who is holding the additional charge of Managing Director JKPCC Ltd, had in-fact started pruning in the organisation soon after his taking over the charge in last week of November 2018. However, due to his transfer to Power Development Deptt the task had remained unfinished. Taking back the thread, he is likely to roll many heads, keeping in view the performance and integrity of the officers manning key positions.
According to sources, the axe is likely to fall on the ‘blue-eyed’ engineers of the successive Managing Directors who have been holding plump assignments with additional charge of equally important units, notwithstanding their alleged blemished service record. Due to patronage and proximity to powers that be they have been rotating over the key posts like musical chair game. Marred by nepotism, corruption and favouritism, the downfall of the prestigious JKPCC began soon-after surfacing of an audio tape, exposing the inner working of the Corporation and minting of money to the extent of extortion from contractors. After the tape going viral, the then Managing Director Viqar Shonthu had been attached while the conduits engaged in conversation in the viral tape went unscathed. In his first stint, M. Raju had brought about a qualitative change in the working of the Corporation but the powerful lobby had torpedoed his well meaning efforts to bring back the organisation on right track. A few blue-eyed, known for their acts of omission and commission kept to occupy coveted positions. One such position was held by an officer in Jammu, whose voice in the ugly audio tape was predominant. He is continuing to hold the additional charge of Udhampur division, like a reward. Prior to this, he was holding charge of three divisions, including Reasi. Now that the organisation is witnessing large scale churning and corrective reforms by the incumbent Managing Director in his second stint, sources said that the tainted officers, holding more than one assignment, are feeling the heat of being weeded out. The step is aimed at retrieving the image of the Corporation, which has undergone huge dent in recent years. Sources told the STATE TIMES that questions were all along being raised within the Corporation about the ‘additional charge’ syndrome that has been hugely impacting the construction, resulting in delays in meeting the deadlines. In addition, due to lack of supervision and monitoring, the quality of the constructions also remains in jeopardy. The sources said that assigning additional charge to a chosen few engineers has not been without a purpose. According to insiders the existing lot of functional lot has become indispensable for the senior functionaries of the Corporation that they were taking care of the political executives as well. One of the blue eyed engineers, known for his lavish life style and penchant with elite golfing, has been flaunting his accessibility to the officers at the top. One of the Deputy General Manager Pankaj Sawhney, though posted to coveted Unit 7 in the winter capital of Jammu has been bestowed the charge of Udhampur as well. Believe sources, P. Raju is keen to break this vicious chain and restore the credibility of the JKPCC as also to make capable of meeting the targets within stipulated time-frame.
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