Mini-Sectts fail to serve purpose in S Kashmir

Suhail Bhat
SRINAGAR, Jan 4: Much to the annoyance of the people, the newly constructed Mini-Secretariat complexes in three districts of South Kashmir have failed to serve purpose owing to the absence of many key departments.
The Mini Secretariat complexes were allotted at Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian districts with an aim to have all the important offices under one roof. The project costs were Rs 4 crores, Rs 29.47 crores and Rs 36.86 crores respectively. However, after the complexes were thrown open, the people were expecting speedy and hassle-free disposal of their grievances. But, failure of authorities to move the key departments to these complexes rendered them ineffective.
Locals alleged that the authorities have failed to place all the public offices of the district under one roof and the complexes are not serving the desired purpose. “We were expecting that the time consumption in inter-department dealings would be cut down by bringing the departments in proximity to each other but authorities have failed the initiative. What is the fun in spending crores of rupees in erecting these complexes if all the departments are not there,” Basit Ahmad, a resident from Pulwama said, adding after taking four years to complete the building the authorities have put a few offices here?
Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Ghulam Mohammad Dar, told Excelsior that they lack full-fledged Mini- Secretariat and several key departments have their own infrastructure. “We do not have a full-fledged Mini Secretariat in Pulwama. The departments have their own space and that too within the vicinity. Why would they leave their offices and come to newly constructed complex?” he asked.
Sources said that the three Mini-Secretariats in South Kashmir housed only a few departments like education, cooperatives, revenue etcetera.. Out of the 36 district offices, only 12 have been shifted to the Mini-secretariat of Kulgam. Shopian Mini-Secretariat was supposed to house over four dozen departments but the complex is functioning with a few offices. Pulwama complex has just four-five offices. Moreover, some of the important offices like Tehsil office, Health, Power Development Departments, Public Health Engineering Department,  Social Welfare, Agriculture and many other offices are still functioning from outside.
Locals from South Kashmir’s Shopian district lamented that important offices like Public Health and Engineering Department, Power Development Department and Horticulture have not been shifted to the Mini Secretariat and that was creating inconvenience to the locals.  “If one has to visit multiple departments it will take more than one week as the departments are located at different corners of the District. The Secretariat is not helping people at all.”
Deputy Commissioner Shopian, Mohammad Aijaz, told Excelsior said the complex lacks space as a major portion of it was damaged in a blaze during 2016 unrest. “The second block was gutted in a fire during 2016 and the first block is already occupied. The renovation of the second block is underway and once it is completed, more offices will be shifted,” he said, adding all the district offices would be shifted after the completion of the third block.
He added the construction work on the third block would be taken up after the completion of the second.


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