The Directorate of Designs & Planning was initially created under G.O number 114-C, Dated:16-05-1963, as part of the Reorganization of the PWD, which included Electrical & Mechanical wings as well. The responsibilities of the Directorate included planning of engineering works, coordination and linkage of all branches of PWD in respect of project preparation, designing, planning etc., which in turn and according to the Govt. Order meant collection of statistical and other data, investigation and surveys of all the schemes of roads, buildings, irrigation projects and electric works costing over Rs. 1.00 lac. The Directorate had powers to inspect and conduct technical examination of works of the various branches to ascertain if execution of works in the field is going on according to approved plans, specifications and standards etc. In addition, the Directorate was kept in charge of central stores and purchases.
Two new investigation sectors in the Hydraulic & R&B wing were created in the Designs & Planning Directorate vide Govt. Order No: DP-741-WIP of 1966, Dated: 30-09-1966, apart from the existing eight other sectors excluding Direction Office with the functioning of the Directorate remaining the same.
The Directorate was re-organized vide Govt. Oder No. PW-534-WIP, Dated: 26-09-967, when Town Planning and Architectural Planning, Salal Investigation Circle & Salal Pre-construction Division were added to its functions, but at the same time the Directorate was divested of the responsibilities of surveys and investigation of schemes as also of the technical examination of the works.
In 1971, the Directorate was reorganized vide Govt. Order No. DP-284-WIP of 1971, Dated: 12-04-1971.
Finally in October-1986, the functions, responsibilities and powers of Design Directorate were revised in suppression of all previous orders vide Govt. Order No. PW-449 of 1986, Dated: 23-10-1986. According to this order, the functions of this Directorate, as at present, are as under:-
1. Designs of R&B, Hydraulic and PHE works costing Rs. 30.00 lacs and above shall be vetted and approved by the Designs Directorate.
2. Designing of all such works, as may be referred to Designs Directorate by Chief Engineers of Engineering Organizations, shall be settled and approved by Design Directorate.
3. Investigation in respect of works mentioned in (i) & (ii) above shall be carried out under the directions and guidance of Design Directorate.
4. Consultancy services for preparation of design in respect of works mentioned at (i) & (ii) above shall be engaged only after the Designs Directorate certifies that it cannot design such works and that engagements of consultancy service is necessary. Engagement of consultancy shall also be done by Design Directorate.
5. Technical Sanctions in respect of works mentioned at (i) above shall not be accorded by the competent authorities unless design of these works have been vetted and approved by the Design Directorate.
6. All technical problems encountered by the executing agencies in the field shall be referred to Design Directorate.
7. The Design Directorate shall create a data bank of research made in materials, techniques and methods of designs.
8. The design Directorate shall prepare a reference shelf of typical designs and plans.
9. The Design Directorate shall prepare/update book of specifications, rate analysis and schedule of rates.
10. The design Directorate shall undertake the work of standardization of specification of works and materials.
11. The Design Directorate shall exercise control in respect of quality over the works, plans of which are vetted and approved by the Directorate. The Design Directorate was re-designated as Designs , Inspections & Quality Control J&K, Jammu and the post of Director was re-designated as Chief Engineer vide Govt. Order No. 962-Works of 2001, Dated: 12-06-2001.