No step initiated to implement Kishtwar DDB’s vital decisions during past one yr

Funds constraints create obstacles in widening of roads

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Mar 30: Much to the disappointment of the people as well as their elected representatives, no step has been initiated by the concerned Government departments to implement vital decisions taken by District Development Board of Kishtwar more than one year back. Shockingly, nobody in the district administration is still in a position to spell out time-frame for action on the directions of the ‘institution of inclusivity’.
The Kishtwar District Development Board, in its meeting held on March 6, 2017 under the chairmanship of Minister for Health and Medical Education Bali Bhagat, had expressed serious concern over the poor pace of progress on Naigad Water Supply Scheme, which was sanctioned in the year 2010 on the recommendations of Special Task Force (STF) constituted by the Union Government.
The DDB had issued directions for prompt removal of bottlenecks and gearing up of the work on the scheme, which was planned to meet the drinking water requirement of Kishtwar town and its peripheries for years to come.
“However, there is no change in the status of Naigad Water Supply Scheme and work is still going on at snail’s pace that too in some areas only”, official sources told EXCELSIOR while disclosing that water supply line in over 12 kilometer area is yet to be laid by the concerned agency.
Stating that this scheme is the testimony of poor planning, sources said, “earlier forest clearance took unduly long time and now delay in procurement of pipes and other issues have created roadblock”, adding “neither the district administration nor the Department of PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control is in a position to explain when the execution of the scheme will get necessary impetus”.
It is pertinent to mention here that not only in the DDB the hanging fate of Naigad Water Supply Scheme was also discussed in numerous meetings taken by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti but much to the disappointment of people of Kishtwar town and its peripheries the scheme is nowhere near completion despite lapse of several years.
The District Development Board had also expressed concern over not up to the mark working of Lift Water Supply Scheme at Kishtwar and issued directions to the Department of PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control for taking necessary corrective measures.
“However, there is no change in the working of the Lift Water Supply Scheme as a result of which there are frequent disruptions in the water supply and subsequent shortage of drinking water in the targeted areas”, sources informed, adding “it is a matter of serious concern that on one side Naigad Water Supply Scheme is nowhere near completion and on the other side the existing scheme has failed to meet the requirement of the town and its peripheries”.
Keeping in view the concern of the legislators, the District Development Board had issued direction for widening of road from Bus Stand to Kuleed Chowk in Kishtwar so as to check the problem of traffic mess.
“This direction has also been given raw deal by the concerned authorities”, sources said while disclosing that National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), which has been handed over Batote-Kishtwar-Sinthantop National Highway, doesn’t have funds for widening work.
They further said that whenever the issue of widening of Bus Stand to Kuleed Chowk area was taken up with NHIDCL its authorities categorically stated that Union Road Transport Ministry has kept funds at their disposal only for maintenance work.
Interestingly, Minister of State for Roads and Buildings is also elected representative from Kishtwar and he too has failed to resolve this issue, sources said.
It seems that either District Development Board had taken decisions without considering all the aspects of these issues or there was no follow-up action from the Chairman of the Board in resolving the bottlenecks, they said, adding “the duty of Chairman of any District Development Board is not only to preside over the meetings but also to ensure proper follow-up and ensure personal intervention in resolving the complex issues”.