AJKPC protests against harassment of PRI members, sub-standard road work

Sarpanchs and Panchs staging protest against sub-standard road work in Pargal area of Akhnoor.

Excelsior Correspondent
PARGWAL, (Akhnoor), Dec 28: All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) today lodged a strong protest in Pargwal area of Jammu district against the suppression and harassment of PRI members of Pargwal by contractors in connivance with officers of Roads and Buildings (R&B) department to execute their malpractices.
The AJKPC also questioned the tall claims of the Centre and the UT Administration with regard to the empowerment of Panchayat Raj Institutions in Jammu and Kashmir, saying “PRI members are unable to perform their duties due to suppressive tactics of contractors”.
Addressing protestors, Anil Sharma, UT president of AJKPC, said that a senior member of the organization and Pargwal Panchayat Sarpanch, Ram Saroop Sharma was being harassed and suppressed because he raised voice against substandard black-topping work being undertaken on Pargwal-Gurha Manasa road.
“Contractor executing black-topping work has lodged a malicious and false complaint against Ram Saroop Sharma, who is 72-year-old and has contested MLA elections twice, in connivance with the officers of R&B department after the latter exposed substandard black-topping work on the road. He has been threatened and harassed for raising voice against corruption in the system,” the AJKPC chief said.
Sharma along with hundreds of protestors while submitting a memorandum to Tehsildar Pargwal demanded that the complaint should be withdrawn immediately and contractor should tender an apology in writing before the Tehsildar for making frivolous complaint against an honest, dedicated and committed PRI member.
Ram Saroop Sharma said that he was being harassed for raising his voice against substandard work. “The whole incident took place in the presence of Naib Tehsildar and the officials of R&B department. They are witness to what exactly happened on ground,” the Sarpanch Pargwal said.
“Even Tehsildar Pargwal was well-aware of the facts as he had deputed the Naib Tehsildar to take stock of the factual position. The officials of R&B while checking the quality of work damaged a portion of road in the presence of Naib Tehsildar. To suppress the whistle-blower, the contractor lodged a frivolous complaint against me as a pressure tactics so that I should remain silent on the issue”, Saroop said.
Sarpanches urged the Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha to order an inquiry into the matter and ensure quality road work in the area.