The ambitious scheme of rural development, Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojna (SAGY) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi coinciding with the birth anniversary of Jai Prakash Narayan on Oct 11, 2014 has met with no concrete and expected response in Jammu and Kashmir in comparison to other States, much to the disappointment of Union Ministry of Rural Development. The scheme aims at social and cultural development in addition to economic development and spreading motivation among the people for village development. Selected villages are under the scheme designed to usher in integrated development in multiple areas like agriculture, health, education, sanitation, environment and livelihood etc.
The scheme is based on people’s participation, inspired by society and is demand driven. Local models for development are built and replicated in other villages. Model villages are to be created known as Adarsh villages by means of implementation of existing schemes with new initiatives designed in local context and Jammu and Kashmir could have largely benefitted from the scheme by implementing various projects in those villages which need development on priority among other villages. Our Government, on the contrary has not come up to the expectations of people in the area of implementation as it has failed to expedite work on projects in identified villages for unknown reasons.
Members of Parliament had identified a total of 10 Gram Panchayats from Jammu and Kashmir under Phase 1 of the scheme and under Village Development Plans 746 works were proposed for execution in these Gram Panchayats. Out of these only 298 works have been completed till date and 81 are incomplete. A total of 817 projects were planned in 14 Gram Panchayats identified in twin phases of the scheme but only 301 works are reported to be completed while 115 works are under execution. As many as 516 works have not been started at all which speaks in itself as to how much the prestigious scheme has been taken seriously for implementation in the State.
Similarly, performance under Phase 2, the expected levels of implementation are not met in any perceptible way which is not encouraging at all. Concerned departments of the State Government have failed to give necessary impetus to the execution of the projects proposed under Village Development Plan.
The ombudsman like functions are carried out, in respect of this scheme by State Level Empowered Committee (SLEC) to identify the problems and sort them out so that the works could be completed expeditiously but the said Committee too has drawn a flak for its inability to perform in this context. The Committee was constituted in the start of 2015 but it has rarely performed in accordance with the covenants of the scheme. Not only this, for quite some time it has not even met, let alone ensurecompletion of work on the projects which are incomplete. Does it mean that constituting of such committees is just an eye wash?
The concerned Union Ministry feeling apprehensive aboutthe poor performance of the State has directed it to ensure expeditious implementation of projects proposed under Village Development Plans of the SAGY Gram Panchayats. Regularly updating the work progress, and reporting it on the designated portal of SAGY needs to be looked into and complied with for making the scheme a success.
We expect the Government to take necessary steps in this regard to ensure work on remaining or left out projects was started at the earliest and completed expeditiously.