An error turns into callousness when it is not rectified even after detection. Obviously, refusing to rectify it or just overlooking it is inexcusable particularly when the error denies the rights to people that accrue to them in course of time. We have a concrete and of course a bizarre example to elucidate the assertion. Way back in 2003 a scheme floated by the Union Ministry of Rural Development and named Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was introduced in J&K in normal process. The PMGSY has the objective of providing all-weather connectivity to all unconnected habitations with population of 500 persons and above and 250 persons and above in hilly States. J&K is a hilly State and as such this scheme is highly beneficial to us if it is properly implemented. By some strange quirk of destiny 1171 habitations in the State, 746 in Jammu region and rest in Kashmir valley remained outside the purview of the scheme under discussion. How did such a large number of villages remain outside is a mystery in itself. Was it an omission and an error or was it done deliberately is difficult to ascertain after the lapse of a long time.
The State Government would not have come to know about its error if the people of these habitats had not started making enquiries why they were left outside the ambit of the Central scheme and why was not the State Government caring for them as they had remained disconnected owing to non-existence of connecting road. As the people of these habitats persisted with their demand, the Government woke up and to its consternation found that 1171 habitats had not been included in the list of villages for which proposal for road connectivity was submitted to the Union Ministry of Rural Development. To rectify the error the R&B Department approached the Union Ministry for reconsidering to include these left out habitats in the core network. We are not aware what justification the State Government gave for making the error, nevertheless the Union Ministry agreed to reconsider the case if the State Government submitted the plan for road connectivity to these habitats. Accordingly, these habitations were uploaded on Online Management, Monitoring and Accounting System (OMMAS) of PMGSY.
However, no formal decision has been taken by the Union Rural Development Ministry regarding inclusion of these 1171 left-over villages in the core network of PMGSY. We learn that after a couple of letters exchanged between the Union Ministry of Rural Development and the Department of Roads and Buildings of the State Government, the matter was left to oblivion. From 2003 onwards no Government in the State including the present PDP-BJP Coalition Government took any interest in vigorously pursuing the matter at the level of Union Ministry of Rural Development.
The point is that owing to grave and inexcusable error of some functionaries of the State thousands of people in the State have been put to hardship and inconvenience and deprived of road connectivity despite the tall claims of the Union Rural Development Ministry and the State Government that every village in the country and the State shall be connected with road connectivity.
To be practical, it is no use lamenting on what has happened advertently or inadvertently. At the best the Government can order departmental inquiry into the error and take administrative decision against the defaulters so that discipline and sense of responsibility are created among the Government functionaries. That is a different matter. What the Government should immediately address is that of pursuing the matter at the level of Union Ministry of Rural Development and get these 1171 habitats included in the core network so that the large number of people are not discriminated against.