Ex-MLAs’ Report Card, Constituency: R S Pura, Dr Gagan Bhagat
R S Pura: Despite rapid transformation in its texture, RS Pura constituency has remained choked with various civic problems for the past over four years.
On the one hand, where some people appreciated the role of their ex-MLA Dr Gagan Bhagat in carrying out developmental works in different areas of the constituency, others took him to task by saying that Dr Bhagat has done nothing in their favour.
Comprising over 100 villages, RS Pura constituency is spread on a wide area having various colonies including Indira Nagar, Brij Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Nandpur, Tinda Kalan, Simbal Camp, Prem Nagar, Miran Sahib, Nai Basti, Shiv Nagar, Ben Sultan, Kalyana, Phinder, Kotli Mian Fateh, Jinder Malu, etc.
Due to non-availability of basic amenities including water, power, roads, lanes and drains, etc, the residents of RS Pura constituency are going through tough times, but MLA’s response to all this plight is just assurance and nothing else.
While taking a round of the constituency, it was found that the lanes and drains remained choked but no steps have been taken regarding the sanitary condition either by Municipal Committee or by the ex-MLA, which led to severe health hazard.
The main road connecting various villages is having pot-holes, which sometimes prove fatal for the commuters especially during the night. The road condition from the Indira Nagar to Kullian has improved a lot as ex-MLA took this initiative on war footing, but the condition of the road from Kullian to RS Pura is in deplorable condition due to negligence of the elected representative of the constituency.
The reason behind the deplorable condition of the road is non-availability of drainage system from Indira Nagar to RS Pura”, a resident said, adding that Dr Bhagat gave much hype on the implementation of the Central and State Government schemes, but on the ground, the schemes remained non-starter.
Around 2500 forms were filled for the marriage assistance of the girl child, but the scheme benefits remained on papers as many of the girls got married, without benefit of the scheme, Dinesh Sharma, a resident said, adding that old age pension scheme also remained non-starter in this constituency.
The condition of the main town RS Pura comprising of 13 wards has worsened day-by-day. Dilapidated condition of roads, lanes and drains, unscheduled power cuts and erratic water supply are the main problems which came to the fore while interacting with the people, which according to them, their ex-MLA has failed to take up with the concerned authorities aggressively.
Regarding educational infrastructure in the area, students of Government Degree College (GDS) RS Pura are facing manifold problems as there are only 7 to 8 rooms where around 1000 students are studying presently. “How students manage to study in these over half dozen rooms where laboratory, computer lab, etc works are also carried out simultaneously is beyond one’s imagination. The problems faced by students on account of it have not stirred the conscience of the ex-MLA”, which has raised the level of anguish among them against the ex-MLA.
However, the standard of education in the RS Pura has shown some positive signs as the ex-MLA has upgraded the infrastructure of the various Government Schools including High School and Higher Secondary Schools.
A student of Government Degree College RS Pura said that MLA should be one who can come up to the expectations of the people of his constituency by bringing development projects and taking advantage of various welfare and poverty eradication schemes.
“Our ex-MLA Dr Bhagat never took keen interest towards the youth of his constituency. We continue to compromise with our studies as only few rooms are here in this college in which around 1000 students study”, he added.
RS Pura Constituency is almost a ‘Farming Community’ and its Basmati Rice is world wide famous. The demand of the farmers was of declaring RS Pura as ‘Basmati Zone’ at par with ‘Saffron Zone’ in Kashmir, but the ex-MLA has paid least heed towards this, which will somewhere create hurdles for the ex-MLA to represent the constituency in the Legislative Assembly again.
The Ranbir Canal water, the only lifeline of the farmers for cultivation is being used by the ‘Brick Kiln’ owners, which has also raised the level of anguish among the farmers.
Dev Raj Thakur, President, RS Pura Basmati Growers Association while narrating the ordeal of farmers of RS Pura Constituency said that the farming community is feeling neglected by the ex-MLA Dr Bhagat, as none of their issues including water and power required for farming have been properly attended to by him.
“RS Pura is at the tail end of Ranbir Canal and the water level is so low, that it becomes very difficult for the farmers to cultivate their land”, he said. The theft of canal water is a common issue here as every farmer needs water for cultivation and sometimes, these thefts of water have led to clashes, he said, adding that their ex-MLA had shown least concern toward this problem.
“MLA should be one who not only listens to the plight of the people of his constituency but should also work day and night to get the issues addressed”, said Vishal Sharma, a resident of Indira Nagar said.
He added that their ex-MLA Dr Gagan Bhagat was least bothered about the problems of the people especially farming community and if this situation continues, a time will come, when no farmer will cultivate his land. This will jolt not only J&K but outsiders also, as maximum Basmati rice is grown here and is popular world-wide”, he added.
There is no proper way of disposing of household waste. All the waste of the main town RS Pura gets accumulated in “Purkhoo Nallah”.
Few times back, the nallah was cleaned on the directions of Dr Bhagat, but now the situation is as it was in the past during the tenure of ex-MLA Prof Gharu Ram Bhagat. As the nallah has not been cleaned since long, the drainage system of the RS Pura town remains almost choked.
Thought some development work has taken place in the RS Pura constituency, but maximum areas remained unattended due to the reason best known to the ex-MLA Dr Bhagat. Usha Bharti, a housewife residing in one of the wards of RS Pura town said that RS Pura has not seen much change during the tenure of their ex-MLA.
Earlier, many youths in the constituency desired to join the para-military services to serve the Nation, but MLA’s least concern toward their future has forced them to work in their agriculture fields or private companies.
While interacting with the youths of area, it came to the fore that recruitment drive for this border belt was held some 20 years back and since then, no recruitment drive has been conducted.
“No recruitment drives have been conducted for the youth of RS Pura constituency in the para-military forces, which is compelling the youth to join hands with their old age family business ‘agriculture’ leading to anguish among the youth”, said Sunil Sharma, a Post Graduate student.
He said that despite being highly qualified, the youth of RS constituency feel neglected as their MLA never took up the recruitment drive issue in the para military forces with the concerned authorities.
“The construction work of new Revenue Complex was inaugurated by former Minister RS Chib along with then MLAs Gharu Ram and Ramban Bhalla and its work was stopped around five years back, due to the reason best known to the concerned authorities. Dr Bhagat restarted the construction work of the complex, but it is not completed despite lapse of around three years”, a group of people visiting Tehsil Office said.
The already hellish condition of the main town RS Pura is compounded by the road side parking by the people and encroachment by shopkeepers, which results in constant traffic jams. Sometimes it becomes too difficult to ride a two wheeler on this road, which connects Jammu with Tourist Spot ‘Suchetgarh’.
The main town RS Pura witnesses traffic snarls various times especially during office-school hours, as the road is encroached by shopkeepers and no one takes steps in this regard, Dilip Sharma, a private company employee said, adding that ill-manned parking by the people is also one of the reasons behind the jams.
For the improvement in the sports infrastructure, ex-MLA Dr Bhagat sanctioned Rs 30 lakh for the development of the lone stadium of the constituency ‘Bana Singh Stadium’. Due to lethargic approach of the concerned authorities, the playground inside the stadium has turned injury prone.
To enhance health facilities, Dr Bhagat started the construction work of a 200 bedded hospital. The building has been completed, but the hospital remained non-functional till today, which people term as wastage of money.
“No doubt ex-MLA worked hard for the development of the RS Pura constituency, but he failed. Now we are thinking of electing a new face in the forthcoming elections, so that the miseries of the border people in various fields including education, development, employment, farming, etc, could be redressed”, Subash Sharma, a resident of RS Pura town said.
When all these issues were taken up with Dr Bhagat, he said the grievances of the people are justified and all the issues including basic facilities were in the pipe line for redressal. “As Government was dissolved, all the development works came to standstill”, he said and held BJP Ministers responsible for less development in his constituency.
Regarding functioning of 200 bedded hospital, he said the Governor rule was imposed in the State and after that President Rule is going on. “Now it was not in my hand to make the hospital operational”, he added.
For all the issues whether they are of development, education, health care facilities, implementation of Central and State schemes, etc, Dr Bhagat held Centre and State BJP Ministers responsible.
“BJP Ministers befooled me and my constituency people, so I quit BJP”, Dr Bhagat said, adding that “I have to work for the people and not just to make the leaders happy”.