PDP-BJP Govt fails to make headway on promises made in Developmental Agenda

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, May 4: Though the PDP-BJP Coalition Government has completed three years in office yet majority of the commitments made in the Developmental Agenda have remained unfulfilled much to the disappointment of the common masses. Keeping in view the prevailing situation, translating these promises into reality in the left over period is really a daunting task for both the alliance partners.
While joining hands to formulate Coalition Government in the State following fractured mandate in 2014 Assembly elections, PDP and BJP had prepared Agenda of Alliance (AoA) and on numerous occasions both the coalition partners dubbed AoA as a ‘sacred document’ and a commitment to the people of all the three regions of the State.
Different goals were set under Agenda of Alliance vis-à-vis Governance Reforms, Social and Humanitarian Initiatives and Developmental Agenda etc. Thereafter, different Groups of Ministers (GoMs) were constituted for implementation of commitments made under different heads of the Agenda of Alliance.
As far as Developmental Agenda is concerned, majority of the commitments have remained unfulfilled even after completion of half of the term of the Coalition Government thereby raising resentment among the common masses, who had initially lauded the initiative of framing Agenda of Alliance by the coalition partners. Now, the people have apprehensions whether the present regime will be able to respect the ‘sacred document’ in the left over period.
The Government had assured in the Developmental Agenda that modalities will be worked out for transfer of Dulhasti and Uri hydroelectric projects to J&K as suggested in the Rangarajan Committee and Round Table Reports. However, no headway has been made in this regard during the past three years although issue was raised with the Union Power Ministry on some occasions, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
During the State Legislature Sessions held so far, this issue was vociferously raised by the Opposition MLAs a number of times but every time only ‘vague’ statement mentioning that Government was committed to bring back the projects was made by the Ministers of both the alliance partners. Moreover, no progress has been made on restructuring and strengthening Chenab Valley Power Projects Limited (CVPPL) as holding company for all hydro power projects in the State, sources added.
It was also promised that Government will formulate regional development plans to ensure that each region has a specific and focused economic activity that spurs development. “The Government will institute a system of criteria based allocation of financial resources across all three regions and this will be done to ensure equitable distribution and balanced development”, read the Developmental Agenda.
“However, no such mechanism has been worked out so far and allocation of financial resources is being made on the old pattern”, sources regretted, “similar is the fate of commitments regarding developing two mega cities—Greater Srinagar and Greater Jammu and upgrading all towns with population size of 30,000 to 99,999 into cities”.
“As far as commitment regarding developing Jammu as an independent tourist circuit is concerned, none of the projects has been brought to the completion during the past three years and Jammu Ropeway and Artificial Lake are the testimonies of the same”, sources said, adding “several vital spots like Parmandal-Utterbehni, Surinsar-Mansar, Bani-Sarthal, Rajouri-Poonch (seven lakes) have yet not received the due attention so far although it was stated in the Developmental Agenda that these places will be given top priority”, sources said.
It may be recalled that EXCELSIOR through series of exclusive news-items during last month brought to the fore the casual approach in honoring the decisions taken in the Governing Body meetings of the Tourism Development Authorities as a result of which creation of tourism promotion infrastructure has remained a dream.
The fate of the commitment regarding developing, preserving and promoting Dogra Heritage can be gauged from the snail’s pace work on the historic Mubarak Mandi Complex.
Under the Developmental Agenda much emphasis was also laid on setting up of high-tech IT park and bio-tech park in Jammu and Pir Panchal; cleaning and beautification of Tawi on the pattern of Ganga; preservation of water bodies; cleaning, revival and preservation of Doodh Ganga and Chenab Rivers and promotion and protection of monuments in Ladakh region.
“What happened on all these fronts is before every common man”, sources said, adding “all this clearly indicates that Government has failed to make headway on the promises made in Developmental Agenda”. They further said, “this is also reflection on the performance of the Ministers who were members of the Group of Ministers tasked to ensure fulfillment of the commitments made in the sacred document”.
“It is really a daunting task for the present regime to translate these promises into reality in the left over period”, sources remarked.