Numerous committees of bureaucrats on vital issues fail to complete assigned task

Some panels fail to meet even once

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Jan 2: Several  committees of the bureaucrats constituted by the PDP-BJP Coalition Government during the past one year on many vital aspects have failed to complete the assigned task thereby establishing that accountability is a least priority for the present dispensation. The most shocking aspect is that some of these panels have failed to meet even once ever since their constitution.
After regular intervals the General Administration Department comes up with the Government orders regarding framing of committees of bureaucrats to handle those issues, which are of much importance for the welfare of the people and the State.
However, no steps are initiated to ensure that these committees handle the assigned task with utmost seriousness. What to talk of the committees whose task is not made time-bound even those panels which are asked to complete the required exercise within the stipulated time-frame are not showing seriousness. All this clearly establishes that the present dispensation has failed to make the bureaucrats accountable.
The Government vide Order No.40-GAD dated January 9, 2017 had constituted a State-level Distribution Reforms Committee for effective implementation of Re-structured Accelerated Power Development Reforms Programme (R-APDRP), Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) and Prime Minister’s Development Package-2015.
The mandate of the committee was to monitor progress and resolve issues relating to implementation of sanctioned projects under these three schemes/programmes. However, the committee has failed to achieve the objective till date and the same can be gauged from the fact that despite repeated extensions granted by the Union Ministry of Power works under R-APDRP could not be completed till date. Moreover, implementation of IPDS and PMDP projects has yet not begun.
Similarly, vide Government Order No.294-GAD dated March 6, 2017 provincial level committees were constituted for implementation of Special Package for development of sports infrastructure in the State. The committees were required to identify land for construction of multi-purpose indoor halls and identify sites for construction of synthetic track/synthetic hockey track besides coordinating inter-departmental issues.
However, the assigned task has largely remained un-executed despite lapse of considerable period of time and youngsters are still craving for adequate sports-related infrastructure particularly at the district level.
Likewise, the Government vide Order No.08-ID dated March 14, 2017 had framed a committee for overseeing and implementation of content regulation of Government advertisements in the State in the light of Supreme Court directions. However, the committee failed to act on the assigned task for want of cooperation from the concerned bureaucrats. This compelled the Chairman of the committee to tender his resignation to the Chief Minister, who is also Minister Incharge Information Department few days back.
Vide Government Order No.488-GAD dated April 18, 2017 a high-level committee was constituted to review and monitor the implementation of environmental laws in the State and to take up issues related to pollution control, waste management and environmental conservation in a comprehensive manner. However, no exercise has been conducted by this committee, which otherwise has 15 Administrative Secretaries as its members.
The failure of the committee to complete the assigned task is notwithstanding the fact that environment degradation is a major concern in the State and even High Court is passing directions to the Government after regular intervals while dealing with the Public Interest Litigations (PILs) on this vital aspect.
A committee was also constituted vide Government Order No.598-GAD dated May 15, 2017 for revision of rent of Wakaf properties and it was to complete the exercise within a period of one month. But the panel failed to complete the task within the stipulated time-frame.
Likewise, vide Government Order No.1388-GAD dated October 26, 2017 a committee was established to frame a policy for providing accommodation to the legislators by the Estates Department as well as J&K Legislative Assembly Secretariat in the MLA Hostels. However, the committee has yet not arrived at any conclusion despite the fact that J&K State Accountability Commission has also issued numerous directions on the subject while expressing concern over multiple allotments to the Legislators in both the capital cities.
Vide Order No.1376 dated October 26, 2017 empowered committees were framed for scrutinizing the applications for regularization of illegal/unauthorized constructions in the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar and holy town of Katra as per the policy framed by the Housing and Urban Development Department.
What to talk of working on terms of reference these committees have not met even once till date thereby depriving the people who have raised illegal/unauthorized constructions of the benefit of the much-talked about policy.
Even a State Level Screening Committee constituted vide Government Order No.1185 dated September 15, 2017 to oversee implementation of Blue Revolution in the State has not met till date despite the fact that this committee was given the task of formulating State Action Plan for Blue Revolution and give necessary impetus to the development of fisheries in the State.
Not only these there are many more committees which were framed to handle important issues including preparation of zonal plans for effective implementation of Jammu/Srinagar Master Plans and suitable development and rejuvenation of the evacuee orchards but non-seriousness on the part of concerned bureaucrats has created hurdles in meeting the objectives behind their establishment.
“What is the fun of formulating committees if they are not to be made accountable for timely submission of reports and recommendations”, sources asked.