Importance of the decisions of District Development Boards is significant in more than one way. It is the composition of the Board that lends it credibility and efficacy. The MLAs of the district are the members of the Board. As such, the Board is really what late Mufti Saeed had said the mini-legislatures. The Boards represent the people’s deputies and puts them into direct contact with the administration. The elaborate manner in which issues of development of different districts are thrashed out in the Board meetings and the decisions taken after thorough analysis of the issues, clearly reflect the intentions of the Government for transparency and inclusiveness.
After explaining the importance and significance of the DDBs, if we are told that the decisions of these Boards have not been implemented fully or partially in follow up action, this is a sad state of affairs. By not implementing the decisions taken with much care and consideration, a message of despair and discouragement is sent across to the people. Moreover, non-implementation brings discredit to the Board, which otherwise consists of very responsible and sensible people. It has also to be remembered that Chief Minister presiding over the DDB meetings is to be taken as a token of Government’s sincere efforts of bringing development and other facilities to the districts.
A survey of the decisions taken by DDBs during the financial year 2015-16 shows that hardly 50 per cent of the decisions taken by the DDBs have been implemented despite a lapse of three years. Replying to a question of the National Conference MLA from Nagrota in the Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister, who is also holding the charge of the General Administration, revealed that a total of 567 decisions were taken by the District Development Boards of 20 districts during 2015-16. However, only 302 decisions have been implemented in letter and spirit till date and the fate of 265 other decisions is hanging in balance despite lapse of nearly three years. Their status has been shown as ‘under implementation’ in the official record. The Chief Minister gave the breakup of how many decisions were taken in respect of each of the 20 districts and how many decisions were still pending. These figures also show that in totality not more than 50 per cent decisions have been implemented.
This is the situation on the ground. However, the question is that should only the administrative machinery be held responsible for non-implementation of the decisions. Responsibility also devolves on the Chairpersons of the Boards for not pursuing the matter of implementation of all the decisions. Their non-action is attributable to lack of seriousness and sense of responsibility on the part of the functionaries. District Development Commissioners are first among the senior officers who are supposed to be pursuing the follow up action on various decisions taken. No less responsible are the MLAs for the development of their constituencies. After all development is a team work and the onus of non compliance cannot be brought to the doorsteps of any one agency.
In final analysis it is unfortunate that the developmental projects for rural areas are made a victim of the apathy of some functionaries in the secretariat or on district level.