The state cabinet’s approval to the proposal to create a dedicated Engineering Section in the Tourism Department will facilitate time-bound and cost-effective implementation of projects in the crucial sector, besides ensuring quality and accountability, Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas said today.
“It is significant that this decision comes at a time when Kerala Tourism is traversing a high growth trajectory to surpass all previous records. A separate Engineering Section will help speedy implementation of various projects in a cost-effective manner while ensuring high quality. This will also enhance accountability in project implementation,” Riyas said.
Now on, it will be the responsibility of this wing to see that new assets are created within the time-frame and project costs set for them and the existing ones are maintained well, with an utmost sense of accountability, the Minister said.
Presently, 416 projects worth around Rs 250 crore are in progress, including those with the Central assistance. These are being executed by various agencies under the supervision of 17 project engineers in the Tourism Department, all of whom are contract employees.
The agencies charge for project execution and also levy centage charges that range from 4 to 7 per cent of the agreed Probable Amount of Contract (PAC) under this arrangement. The formation of an Engineering Section within the department will considerably reduce the financial commitment compared to the existing arrangement, the Minister said.
Also, it will enhance quality control by ensuring that quality materials are used, besides checking cost escalations that result from project cost revisions, implement an effective check measurement mechanism and also bring in greater accountability in all stages of work, the Minister added.
The cabinet has given approval for 10 posts for the engineering section-one Executive Engineer, seven Assistant Executive Engineers and two Assistant Engineers under the Engineering wing. These appointments will be on a temporary basis for three years, with officers being appointed on deputation from various other government departments.