High on legislators’ priority, least important for bureaucrats

Tale of DDB Ramban’s decisions

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Apr 3: Despite being warned of strict action for non-performance, the concerned Government departments have not paid serious attention towards the issues prioritized by the legislators during the District Development Board meeting of Ramban over one year back. Due to this, no discernible progress has been witnessed even on making available improved basic amenities to the people.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that while chairing District Development Board meeting of Ramban on March 4, 2017, Minister for Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Abdul Gani Kohli had told the officers of different departments in unambiguous term that stern action would be taken in case they failed to strictly and timely implement the decisions of the Board.
He had even asked them to conduct routine tours and inspections to monitor progress of various ongoing and proposed development works so that their benefit percolates to the people in a time bound manner.
However, the directions of the Chairman of the Ramban District Development Board have fallen on deaf ears and this can be gauged from the fact that no discernible progress has been made on almost all the issues prioritized by the legislators, sources said.
Quoting an example, they said that taking serious note of inordinate delay in construction of Degree College building at Banihal, the District Development Board had issued directions for expediting ongoing work so as to complete the building during 2017-18 financial year. However, the time-frame could not be met by the executing agency.
Against Rs 13.50 crore project cost, an amount of Rs 9.69 crore has been expended so far in raising structures of administrative and academic blocks of the college. “Huge work is yet to be carried out on the building as such no time-frame can be specified for its completion in all respects”, sources said, adding “in the absence of own building the Degree College Banihal is still functioning from Higher Secondary School, whose infrastructure is not sufficient to provide hassle free education to the students”.
In the DDB meeting, instructions were also issued to the district administration to remain in constant touch with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan for development of KV schools at Ramban and Gool. However, issues relating to these two KVs are yet to be sorted out by the district administration with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Jammu.
“Though land at Batote has been identified for establishment of Kendriya Vidyalaya yet because of certain conditions of land donors proposal could not be placed before the Sangathan till date”, sources said, adding “as far as KV at Gool is concerned the land has been identified and proposal submitted but approval is still awaited”.
What to talk of instructions relating to Degree College Banihal and KVs even no major headway has been made on decisions vis-à-vis providing improved basic amenities to the people of the district, sources said, adding “expansion of power and water supply schemes to uncovered habitations is going on at a snail’s pace despite the fact that this was prioritized by the legislators unanimously”.
“The most shocking aspect is that in the present era of science and information technology power is being supplied to several areas of the district through rotten wooden electric poles, which were installed several decades back”, they said.
This is not withstanding the fact that all the legislators of the district had unanimously laid stress on replacing of wooden electric poles with the concrete ones so as to avoid the threat of collapse of existing poles and subsequent threat to the lives of the people.
“Similar is the fate of directions of the District Development Board vis-à-vis installation of solar street lights, overcoming shortage of staff in different Government departments in the district, opening of more Anganwari Centres and early completion of work on several roads to improvement connectivity”, sources said.
“Due to non-serious approach of the concerned authorities towards the important issues flagged in the DDB meeting over one year back the resentment is prevailing among not only the public but also legislators”, they further said.