State will appoint Independent Third Party Auditors for assessment of various development and infrastructure projects being executed by different departments under Optimum Utilization of Vacant Government Lands (OUVGL) scheme of the State, informed Mr. Sarvesh Kaushal, Chief Secretary, Punjab after reviewal of the financial and physical progress of various development & Infrastructure projects of the State, in the Empowered Committee of OUVGL scheme.It is pertinent to mention that the Punjab government had formulated the OUVGL Scheme in 1997 under which vacant, unencumbered and surplus lands of various government departments were transferred to PUDA in the revenue records. PUDA was declared the nodal agency for commercial exploitation of such lands.
While reviewing the status of construction of jails in Bathinda, Sri Muktsar Sahib and Amritsar, Chief Secretary asked PWD to complete the construction work within 2 weeks and handover the sites to Department of Jails. These 3 jails are being constructed with overall cost of Rs. 443 crore by PWD (B&R). After taking over the possession, Jails department will get the finishing work, CCTV installation and necessary works completed in a month.While reviewing the progress of construction of Excise & Taxation department office in Jalandhar with cost estimate of Rs. 8.21 crore and buildings in Gandhi Vaneeta Ashram in Jalandhar with cost of Rs. 22.52 crore, Chief Secretary directed all the departments to deliver the projects on time and avoid any cost-overruns. He also directed Additional Chief Secretary to issue a circular to all departments that any cost-overrun in the projects should be approved by the competent authority in the administrative department.
New projects which were approved by the Empowered Committee to be undertaken in the OUVGL scheme included construction of Special Saanjh Kendra in Patiala, development works in Tarntaran District with cost estimate of Rs. 3 crore, construction of police station in Tarntaran with cost estimate of Rs. 2 crore, construction of meritorious school in Gurdaspur with cost estimate of Rs. 13.43 crore. While reviewing the construction of PWD guest houses, Chief Secretary asked PWD to improve the maintenance of the existing guest houses. Further the in- principle approval was also given to allocate Rs. 50 crore for the construction of houses of field officers including ADCs, SDMs, Tehsildars & Naib Tehsildars.
Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue presented a detailed report on standardization of specification of various administrative complexes being constructed across the State. The standardized components included Civil Works, roofing, joinery, flooring, finishing, false ceiling, electrical services, water supply/ sewerage etc. The Chief Secretary asked the department to also have the facility of escalator, elevators and ramps in upcoming District Administrative complexes for the convenience of the employees.Other important decisions taken in the meeting included transfer of 2.16 acres of land to Punjab Building and other Construction Welfare Board for construction of Skill Development center, disbursement of funds for construction of building of C-Pyte (Center for Training and Employment of Punjab Youth) with cost estimate of Rs. 7.64 crores.
The Chief Secretary directed all the departments to complete the construction of the projects on time and as per the best quality standards. He also directed PUDA to appoint third party auditors for monitoring the quality of completed and ongoing works. The meeting was attended by Mr. Jagpal Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Home, Mr. N S Kalsi, Additional Chief Secretary PWD, Mr. Karan A Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Revenue, Mr. Viswajit Khanna, Principal Secretary Housing, Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Principal Secretary Jails, Mr. Jaspal Singh, Secretary Expenditure, Mr. Vikas Pratap , Secretary Local Government, Mr. Hussan Lal, Secretary Health & Medical Education and other concerned officials.