Public resentment against Kohli rises in Kalakote

Major issues remain same even after 4 years
Gopal Sharma
Kalakote: Resentment against the former BJP legislator from Kalakote and ex-Minister in the BJP-PDP dispensation, Abdul Gani Kohli is on the rise in almost entire constituency of district Rajouri, as most of the core issues of the general public have remained same even after the passage of about four years.
Kohli, belonging to Gujjar community, was the only Muslim face in State BJP, who secured win in 2014 Assembly elections from Kalakote constituency. He gave strong defeat to NC candidate Th Rashpal Singh. While Kohli had secured 25,225 votes out of the total 66,227 polled, Rashpal got 19047, followed by 10,520 by Congress candidate, Ashok Sharma.
The general public said that there was no respite to them from the severe water and power crisis during last four years. There is general complaint in the constituency that their public representative is hardly available to them. Even during agitation for ADC’s post, he never visited to the agitation/ dharna site.
The Excelsior team which conducted extensive survey and interacted with scores of people at Taryath, Bamlian, Mogla, Tredu, parts of Khawas, Metka, Kalakote, Tatapani, Sailsui, Potha, Dalori, Sranu, Dangri, Narian, Chingus, Solki, Siot and several other places found that entire area is reeling under scarcity of water. The power supply position is also almost same which was 4-5 years ago. Health care facilities are inadequate and moreover, there is shortage of doctors and paramedical staff in majority of the hospitals. The Govt schools especially, the Higher Secondary schools are facing shortage of staff and sports activities are not being promoted there.
The people are forced to drink unsafe/ unhygienic water at many places. Worst is the condition of road from Siot to Kalakote, while the pace of work on Taryath-Kalakote- Rajouri Road is very slow. This road is being upgraded by the BRO (GREF) and even at many places widening and black-topping work is pending for the last more than ten years. The Excelsior team also recorded remarks of many people on assessment of MLA’s performance in their respective areas.
Bal Krishan from Kalakote said that entire constituency is facing severe water crisis. The power curtailment has made lives of people miserable. The condition of 24 kms Kalakote-Siot road was worst. There is no lady doctor (Gynaecologist) and other specialist doctors at CHC Kalakote. Several posts of specialist doctors are lying vacant. This is only referral hospital.
Rajesh Singh and Raj Singh at Mogla revealed that water, power, ration supply besides healthcare facility are not adequate and the public is suffering. Ashok Kumar from Bazal Taryath said that MLA hardly visits the area. After winning elections, he has not paid visit to the area. The public is facing lot of problems.
Ex-Sarpanch Taryath Bodh Raj said the population of Taryath has grown up to 5000 but no new water supply scheme has been approved for the area. He said there are 22 Panchayats in Taryath and the only Higher Secondary School is facing shortage of staff. There is CHC in Taryath and new large building has come up here but there is only one doctor. There is shortage of staff and equipment as well. He said the work of construction of toilets is going on but there is no water for drinking and what will be the fate of toilets under such circumstances.
S Nirmal Singh from Kalakote said there is immediate need to improve health care facilities in CHC Kalakote and improve road condition from Kalakote to Siot. This road had been approved for double lanning but the work was delayed on it. There is no proper cleanliness in market and no street light is there.
Ex-Sarpanch Mohd Iqbal from Manuwa alleged that this village has been totally neglected in respect of water and power besides road link. The people are still in pre-1947 position there. Despite several requests, no improvement has been witnessed. Ashwani Kumar from Tatapani said that road condition to the area has been improved with the initiative of MLA but condition of water source (Tatapani) where hundreds of people especially from Kashmir come to take a dip is not good. The water level is shrinking, there is filth and dirt all around and there is no proper arrangement of the cleanliness. There is need to create adequate space for bus stand and install street lights. He said in upper areas, MLA Kohli has ensured some development but in the rest of the constituency the condition is almost same as it was earlier.
Som Raj Ex-Sarpanch Tatapani said that there is New Type PHC but there is no adequate staff and even the Medical Officer. Power supply is almost adequate but water supply is also not satisfactory. He said the people are denied MGNREGA payments for the last 2-3 years.
Hirdesh Kumar from Potha also narrated the same problems, stating that water supply position has not improved rather deteriorated during last 3-4 years. He said that there are long power cuts and the people suffer due to it. Development works under RDD are also not seen and moreover, the people are denied their payments under NREGA. He said in Saranu and Dangri area also water and power supply position is same.
Mohd Rafiq from Tredu said that after AG Kohli was elected, some works have been done but water supply position was still same in the area. He said there is shortage of staff in school and power supply position is also not so good. Some new transformers have been provided in few areas but voltage is very low. He stressed the need to complete Tredu-Khawas-Kotranka road on which work is going on at snails pace for the last over two decades. He pointed out that toilets are being constructed under Modi Scheme by RDD and Rs 12,000 has been kept for it but people are not getting full amount. He said there is no fun of raising toilets unless adequate water supply is ensured to the villages. Ration supply position is also very bad.
Ex-Sarpanch Khem Raj from Dangri also referred to the problem of water and power supply. He said there is need to prepare new water supply schemes. He said the supply position could not be improved even during last three-four years. Former Sarpanch said during January 2015, Kohli Sahib had attended Gram Sabha meeting here and during meet people strongly raised water and power supply problem before him, but despite his assurance no change has been seen in the area. He referred to the worst condition of Argi, Dalori, Balajarala road and said that same is the position of water and power supply there.
Former Minister and Ex-MLA Kalakote, Abdul Ghani Kohli, claimed that he has initiated lot of development works in his area. He claimed that in power sector only, in higher reaches of his constituency, he sent about Rs 7 crores and provided more than 50 new transformers. With this, the power supply has improved in many places. He also claimed that some new water supply schemes have also been formulated and work on the same was in progress. He admitted that water scarcity is the major issue not only in Kalakote but in the whole district. The water source go dry during hot summer days but the position will improve gradually, he maintained.
Replying to a question, Kohli said he has initiated many works in his area but his rivals ( apparently in Congress and NC) have launched vicious propaganda against him. He claimed that he has taken up several road works and moreover, the condition of Taryath Kalakote-Rajouri Road has also improved. He claimed that road from Siot to Kalakote is also being upgraded with his initiative. When asked about people’s charge that he is not available to the public and is bias in taking up development works as he is ignoring a section of society, Kohli said, ” It is just propaganda. I often visit my constituency and meet people and also take care of every section of the society.”