Kishtwar: Notwith-standing criticism by his rivals in different political parties, vast population of Kishtwar Assembly constituency is of the opinion that Sunil Sharma as Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) left no stone unturned to fulfill the commitments which he had made during the last Assembly elections and had the Lower House of the State Legislature not been dissolved he would have transformed the developmental profile of the constituency up to large extent.
They don’t subscribe the view points of other politicians from the area who come up with the statements after regular intervals alleging that not much development was witnessed during the tenure of Sunil Sharma. This is because they (people) have a number of completed developmental works or those under execution at fast pace to highlight as performance of Sunil Sharma. Even in those areas where developmental works failed to receive the required impetus because of one or the other reason the people don’t have complaints against the former MLA because of his people-friendly approach and strong desire to understand and resolve the difficulties of the common masses.
All this came to the fore during the random survey conducted by EXCELSIOR team in different parts of Kishtwar Assembly constituency in the recent past. Not only on the developmental front, Sunil Sharma, as per the people of this constituency, also played crucial role in promoting communal harmony and brotherhood, which ultimately created conducive atmosphere for giving necessary impetus to the developmental activities. “Even after the killing of Parihar brothers, Sunil left no stone unturned to ensure that anti-social and anti-national elements don’t succeed in disturbing the communal harmony”, said a number of representatives of prominent organizations of the Kishtwar town.
However, some people said that BJP leader Sunil Sharma has failed to initiate required steps for promotion of Kishtwar saffron, which is considered far better in quality than that of Pampore saffron. “He had announced to develop Saffron Park but till date nothing is visible on ground and on this account he has failed to honour his commitment”, they said.
“Though almost all the un-electrified villages have been electrified but ensuring resumption of work on alternate power transmission line between Batote-Kishtwar was not taken seriously by the former MLA”, large number of traders of main town said, adding “had this project been prioritized by the former MLA work would have been resumed on this transmission line”. It was a golden opportunity for Sunil Sharma to get the bottlenecks removed especially when there was BJP Government in the State and at the Centre.
It is pertinent to mention here that in the absence of alternate power transmission line entire Kishtwar district remained in darkness for several days during the current winter when the existing transmission line between Udhampur-Kishtwar suffered extensive damages at many places.
Like other parts of the State, shortage of manpower in health institutions of Kishtwar Assembly segment was also noticed by the visiting EXCELSIOR team with people saying: “Health Department remained with the BJP in the previous Coalition Government but despite this nothing tangible was done so as to ensure that common masses don’t face problems for want of adequate doctors in the health institutions”.
They informed that the then Minister for Health in PDP-BJP Coalition Government Bali Bhagat had laid the foundation stone of Tertiary Cancer Care Centre in the outskirts of Kishtwar town on October 20, 2016 in the presence of the then Minister of State for Transport Sunil Sharma. But till date work has not been started on the project. “Being MLA of Kishtwar Sunil Sharma should have vigorously taken up the matter with the State as well as Union Government to ensure early start of work on the Cancer Care Centre but he has failed to do so”, people rued.
During electioneering in 2014, the BJP leader Sunil Sharma had announced to gear up the work on Naigarh Water Supply Scheme so as to address the water supply related problem of Kishtwar town up to large extent and he has succeeded in giving necessary impetus to this scheme as a result of which work on only 4-5 kilometers is left. “The fate of this scheme was hanging in balance during the past many years but Sunil Sharma took serious initiative as a result of which scheme is going to become reality shortly to resolve our drinking water problem”, people said.
“Former MLA’s vigorous efforts have also led to the start of work on Pakal Dul and Kiru hydroelectric projects”, people said, adding “we have come to know that Sunil Sharma chased these projects at every forum in order to translate his announcement about generating employment avenues for the local people into reality”, prominent citizens of the town said while wishing anonymity, adding “earlier the politicians used to promote unionism in the projects with their vested interests but now locals will get employment in these projects, which is evident from the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Plan approved recently by the State Administrative Council”.
“Proper connectivity was a dream for us but due to the efforts of Sunil Sharma work is being carried out on the roads to provide connectivity to our areas”, people of Chirji and Pullar said. It is claimed that road connectivity has improved up to 85% in the Kishtwar Assembly constituency during the tenure of Sunil Sharma.
“We were discriminated by all previous dispensations in almost all spheres but during the past four years our many grievances have been taken care of”, said people of Paddar, Marwah and Dachan, adding “we have been provided with mobile connectivity due to the vigorous efforts of Sunil Sharma”. People also lauded ex-MLA for starting helicopter service from Jammu to Kishtwar and other parts of the district.
When contacted, former MLA Sunil Sharma said that he left no stone unturned to provide justice to all parts of his constituency but progress on certain projects like Saffron Park and Multipurpose Project by tapping local source of water at Ratannag could not be made due to fall of the Government and subsequent dissolution of Assembly. Even a project was formulated for construction of circular road in order to ease out traffic congestion in the district headquarters and same is still being chased to ensure early start of work, he added
“Sanctioning of Degree College, ITI and Sub-District Hospital for Paddar, 50 bedded Ayush Hospital, Nursing College and 100 bedded additional block for District Hospital, off grid connectivity to Marwah and Warwan and new grid station for Paddar and Nagseni are among the other achievements during the short span of time” he said, adding “it was due to the necessary cooperation and support extended by the people that he was able to deliver up to the expectations of the people”.
“Had the Government not been dissolved left over grievances and issues of the people would have been resolved by now”, he further said.