There are various schemes specially tailored for rural development which should be implemented to better the lot of our rural sector. These schemes are being revised from time to time or modified to suit rural needs. The elected representatives are supposed to have the first hand information about the level of their implementation so that they could take up the issues with the implementing agencies through the Government, in case of any problem.
To oversee the aspects of the levels of implementation and ensure the entire process to be completed in a transparent way and free of any irregularities, there is a State Level Vigilance Committee. This Committee, looking to the nature of assignment, must very frequently meet to take stock of the situation and point out deficiencies, shortcomings, instances of irregularities etc so that suitable remedial action could be initiated.
Having said so, it is unbelievable that in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, perhaps, implementing such schemes of rural development is not finding its niche in the priorities before the Government. Not only this, but the State Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee is reported to have met just once during the last two years. From the names of the members who are on this Committee, one would be doubly assured that looking to their political activities and usually taking up rural issues in august houses, there should have been, prima facie no problem but it is the converse of the expectations. The names are Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Muzaffar Hassan Beigh, Jugal Kishore Sharma,Thupstan Chhewang, (all MPs) and MLAs like M.Y Bhat, R.S Pathania, Shah Mohamad Tantray, Dendal Namgyal and Kamal Verma.
Even if, hypothetically considering that our villages have reached those levels of development where all such schemes would be just an exercise of profligacy, still the Government must come out with its statement to this effect. If it is neither, then it is sheer recklessness and a blatant instance of willful non performance. Both such deficiencies in the system are a dipstick with lowest markings in respect of accountability towards the public by the Government.
Equally unbelieving is the fact that even the Members of Parliament from Jammu and Kashmir are not showing any keen interest in looking into the status and fate of such schemes as they are keeping themselves quite ignorant about the ground situation. It can thus be extrapolated that either these schemes are not required at all or their implementation is no one’s responsibility.
We feel that the entire issue needs a relook and right from funds flowing through various channels to allocations, releases, utilization of unspent funds, etc needs to be gone through and most importantly , such measures must be taken so as to ensure that benefits from these programmes reach the fixed identified targets of the rural population. Complaints whether in respect of misappropriation of funds, pilferages, bungling, etc need to be seriously looked into and action taken.