KATHUA, Sept 29: Former MLC and senior Congress leader Thakur Balbir Singh has criticized the J&K Government for making Panchayats powerless which are not able to do developmental works even on a small scale.
Singh was speaking at a public meeting in Panchayat Jakhol which is a ‘Kandi’ area of Kathua district and often struggles for drinking water issues. He said that the developmental activities have come to standstill under the BJP led Central Government which controls the J&K administration directly.
“The Congress Governments had given power directly in the hands of the people and they were empowered in Panchayats to do work as per the demands of the respective people/Panchayats so that the common villagers do not suffer,” he said and regretted that the present administration has become out of reach of the public and people are left without any representations.
In the present circumstances, he said, it would not be possible for elected Panchayat members to do justice with the people. “They cannot do even small developmental work. The tendering process which is adopted by the Government should not be imposed on Panchayats. They have imposed the directions while sitting in the AC rooms without realizing that the common people, especially poor villagers, would suffer for want of development in their respective Panchayats,” he said.
He said that the Panchayats are not empowered to do work above Rs 1 lakhs as it is tendered and it takes much time. “The Governance has gone away from the people, and a rule of arrogance has been imposed by the bureaucracy ignoring the daily suffering of the people. The Panchayats should be made free from the process of tenders especially with regard to works under Rs 5 lakh so that immediately required developmental work is done at local level,” he said.