Majority of the people in Bishnah Assembly Constituency, which is being represented by the Independent Candidate Ashwani Kumar Sharma from around 12 years, are satisfied with the developmental works in the Constituency, however, two major towns of the Constituency namely Bishnah and Arnia are divided over the performance of their representative.
During a random survey conducted by EXCELSIOR to assess the performance of the MLA from last around six years, people showed a mixed response, with most of the people from Bishnah and adjoining areas lavishing praise for the MLA for his developmental works and majority of the people from Arnia and border areas showing sings of anguish over the sitting MLA for his performance.
Gulshan Kumar, a shopkeeper at KC Morh Bishnah was all praise for the performance of the MLA with regard to the developmental works in all the sectors in his Constituency.
He said the MLA is, hard-working, down-to-earth and leaves no stone unturned in building infrastructure in the sectors including education, health, power and agriculture etc, adding that it has been observed that despite keeping the contractors always on tenter hooks, he never believes in commission for the completion of the works. He added that the MLA developed many Villages adjoining Bishnah and one of them is Chak Marare which has been developed into a model Village.
Anil Kumar, a businessman of Bishnah town said that a huge development has been witnessed in every sector in his Constituency since last around 12 years, adding that it was the performance of the MLA coupled with his honesty, which had helped him to win consecutively for the second time in 2008, despite adverse conditions.
He further said that it was the sitting MLA who helped eight to 10 villages to be part of Bishnah Tehsil rather than that of Jammu to save their atleast around 30 kilometers to and fro journey each time of visiting the tehsil.
“The electric project at Partap Singh Pura, Lalyana Village Bishnah is simply a delight to watch and this mega project caters to the needs of the thousands of people of Bishnah and adjoining areas. The MLA apart from initiating development of major bridges including Rehal bridge and stadia including Mini Stadium at Rehal Village, has established a Government Degree College at Bishnah, apart from a Girls Higher Secondary School, Bishnah. However, there have been problems in the power sector despite augmentation of HT/LT Lines and augmentation of the Receiving Station,” said a School teacher while expressing anonymity.
Though, a healthy development with regard to road connectivity, supply of electricity, supply of water and establishment of lanes and drains is visible in Bishnah town and adjoining areas, yet people of the far flung areas of the Constituency are still the sufferers and the major worry for them is the condition of the roads.
Jang Bahadur, a barber at Kool Kalan Morh while narrating his tale of woes said that his Village was being ignored in every sector as it is divided in two constituencies-with one side in Bishnah Constituency and the other side in RS Pura Constituency, adding that the link road to the Village was in pathetic condition as both the MLAs wait for each other to initiate developmental work of the road to leave the Villagers in the lurch.
The general feeling of the people from the Villages like Fateh Garh, Karyal Khurd, Laswara, Pandorian and Kool Kalan is that the development at some villages or roads which are divided in two Constituencies is being hampered as there occurs a situation as to ‘who will bell the cat’.
Ram Pal Saini, an electronic shop holder of Arnia while criticizing the MLA for his developmental and allied works said that the condition of the roads in Arnia and the road from Arnia to border Village Treva is pathetic, besides the poor condition of the Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Arnia.
He complained that the ambulance of the PHC is being driven by him as part-time driver with a meagre salary of Rs 800, adding that the word ‘part-time’ is only on the papers, otherwise, the driver on regular basis drives the ambulance rarely. He said, despite repeated requests to the sitting MLA with regard to the enhancement of his salary, nothing has been done in his favour.
However, Ramesh Kumar, a Government employee from Village Pandorian said that the sitting MLA has done a great job with regard to the welfare of his Constituency and has left no stone unturned in initiating development of infrastructure in each sector.
A group of sportspersons, who were enjoying some recreational activities in the newly developed Children’s Park near Bus Stand in Arnia, said that the Park was an asset for the people and lauded the efforts of their MLA for developing the same.
Krishan Lal, a pensioner from Village Adlehar said that there has not been much development in his Village and surrounding areas during last around six years of the sitting MLA’s tenure, adding that the MLA has cut ribbon three times in last 8 years to inaugurate the link road to Adlehar, however, the road is still not in place.
He further said that the basement of a High School has been laid in the Village way back, but the construction work for the same is still awaiting.
The Villagers of Devi Garh, Shibhu Chak, Fateh Garg, Karyal Khurd, Jabwal and Pindi etc gave a mixed response to the performance of the MLA. Some praised the MLA for his developmental works and some were hardly satisfied with the same.
During the survey, EXCELSIOR has observed that by and large, there has been a healthy development in education sector, health sector, power sector, rural development sector and agriculture sector in Bishnah Constituency, however, there is no dearth of problems also.
Meanwhile, when contacted and asked about the division of Bishnah and Arnia towns over his performance, the MLA said that he has initiated equal development in both the towns and there is nothing about developing one area and neglecting the other. He said apart from giving tehsil status to Arnia and creating new block there, he has developed a well established Children’s Park and concrete lanes and drains at Arnia and adjoining Villages.
On bad shape of the road from Arnia to Treva, the MLA said that the construction work is on over a mega project of a 25-kilometers road from Jakh to Rathana via Arnia, which will simply be a model road to witness.
“In education sector, a number of Primary, Middle and High Schools have been upgraded, a Degree College has been established at Bishnah, catering to the needs of the thousands of students, while in health sector, new health institutions have been opened and upgraded to provide better health facilities to the people. 450 bedded hospital building is under construction at Sub District Bishnah,” informed MLA Ashwani Kumar.
He further informed that in power sector, there has been creation of new sub stations and augmentation of HT/LT Lines, besides augmentation of a mega project of receiving station and commissioning 2×50 and 2×160 MVA Grid Station at Partap Singh Pura, Bishnah, which is a major achievement in power sector.
The MLA further said that in rural areas, apart from construction of lanes and drains, construction of houses for BPL families, under Indira Awas Yojna has taken place, besides NRLM Umeed Scheme was launched for the upliftment of rural women in Bishnah.
“In Arnia, Municipal Committee under Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme, 124 houses were constructed. Mini Stadium at Rehal, Suhagpur and Chak Marare were developed to promote sports activities in the area. Under Border Area Development Programme, border Villages were developed by constructing link roads, developing parks, community halls, besides lanes and drains,” MLA further informed.
In the irrigation sector, one has observed that new Irrigation Tube Well and Lift Irrigation Schemes have been launched at many places in the Constituency to cater to the needs of thousands of farmers. De-silting and modernization of the Canal has also improved the irrigation system in the Constituency.