Jammu taken for a ride

Ground situation in the State does not endorse the oft-repeated claim of the coalition Government that the administration is meeting out equitable justice to all the three regions of the State. Jammu and Ladakh have long standing complaint against administration of discriminating them in a number of areas including developmental work. However, administration has been stoutly repudiating these allegations and even producing figures and statistics to support its claim of dealing equitable justice. Nevertheless, there is much more beneath all complaints and counter statements than what meets the eye. This issue is multi-dimensional and if the case study is to be made it has to be comprehensive and in-depth and not by piecemeal.
In the first place we should know that the number of functionaries in the Secretariat of the State is highly disproportionate and lopsided. That makes big difference. After all administration, development, monitoring, disbursements etc. all these things have to pass through official labyrinthine. Thousands of files have to be handled, marked, noted and passed on. How can we expect the handlers to be angels and not human beings to be fair and honest? For example, it is  often alleged that funds allotted to a particular project in either Jammu or Ladakh region are shifted to projects and schemes located in Kashmir valley. This shifting mechanism, though officially disallowed, takes place clandestinely and the worst is that it is not detected for years at end. Even if it is detected, those who are adversely affected have no means to raise their voice and set things right.
2016 summer in Kashmir was marred by five month long unrest, stone throwing, strikes and clashes between the aggressive and defiant crowds and the security forces. The entire Government was almost out of gear not understanding how to stop conditions deteriorating day by day. The Government was almost paralyzed and execution of developmental works had come to grinding halt.
This is not the point we want to highlight. We have something else to say. For the rulers and policy planners, the real worry was not that the valley was suffering economic loss in a big way; their real worry was that while the valley was receding towards stalemate in developmental process, Jammu region should not take a lead over the valley as that would make the Jammu leadership more popular. What can one say of this perversion? When the Coalition Government was sworn in, it made loud claims that it will see to it that equitable justice was done to all the three regions’ that there was no discrimination in distribution of funds and providing more facilities to the people in order to improve their standard of living. However, reality on the ground does not support this claim rather proves it hollow. The Coalition Government had promised all the roads in Jammu would be macadamized included those in the peripheries of Jammu. Visit any street and any road in Jammu city, you will find them potholed and de-macadamized. Where have all those tall promises gone and where have all those commitments evaporated in thin air? This is a serious matter for Jammu region’s elected representatives to the Legislative Assembly. They are carrying an impression that by relegating the developmental works in Jammu to the backburner, the people and the voters feel that their representatives have not been able to deliver and are not interested in the development of Jammu. Before more damage is done, it is high time that the Government immediately undertakes repairing, macadamizing and reconstructing all roads in Jammu. The authorities of R&B should understand that there are no takers of the story of ERA digging the roads for laying cables and that is the reason why road building had to be deferred. The question is why did the concerned minister order stopping of work on a road where construction was in progress? Jammu BJP leadership was forced to bring the matter to the notice of the party chief when he was on a visit to Jammu recently. This matter must be sorted out without loss of time.