NAGROTA: Held by National Conference bigwig, Devender Singh Rana, Nagrota Assembly constituency on the outskirts of Jammu City is one of the rare segments in the region, where people openly boast of the development works carried out by their first-time former MLA in a short span of just four years and that too when he was in the Opposition.
This reporter, who toured several parts of Nagrota Assembly segment, himself saw the difference as compared to other rural or semi-urban constituencies of the region. It was not that people of Nagrota have got everything and were fully satisfied as they too faced day-to-day problems on account of water and electricity among others but majority of them were proud to say that Devender Singh Rana is not only easily accessible to them on phone or at his residence or National Conference office but he even visit parts of the constituency himself every week to take stock of public grievances and address them on spot.
“We have seen the performance of earlier MLAs but the pace of development picked-up only during four years tenure of Devender Singh Rana. Previously only routine works used to be executed,” said Ram Krishan Sharma, a shopkeeper at Nagrota.
“Be it the construction of road in interiors, installation of water pumps, supply of water and electricity, providing other basic facilities and bringing areas on tourist map, Rana has come up to our expectations because of his people-friendly approach and easy accessibility as he managed to listen to our problems regularly and then get them resolved,” said Ram Lal, an elderly person at village Bajalta, which is part of Nagrota Assembly segment.
Satish Kumar, a local, opined that merit of their former representative was that he had developed close contact with the common man and frequently paid visits to their areas.
People wanted that the Sports Stadium, whose foundation stone was laid by Dr Farooq Abdullah at Bain Bajalta in 2011, on an area of nearly 560 kanals, should be completed immediately as it would attract sports lovers and other tourists when the matches of international levels are organized there. The people wanted their former MLA to pursue work on the Stadium to ensure its early completion.
In Majalta, Banarasi Das Sharma complained about irregular ration supply. “Most of the times, we get ration supply in time but there were occasions when the supply is delayed,” he said and hoped that Rana, who is still very active in Nagrota constituency even after dissolution of the Assembly, will take up the issue with the concerned authorities and address the same.
Showering praises on Devender Rana, Mohd Din of Bajalta said they had approached the former MLA for installing a transformer in their area and it was done within no time. He expressed satisfaction with electricity supply but voiced concern over erratic water supply and hoped that Rana would take up the issue with the PHE authorities.
Ramesh Chander Sharma, general secretary, Baba Bhardev Sthan, claimed that road connecting Katal Batal to Baba Bhardev Sthan is not up to the mark and appealed to the concerned authorities to develop this Dev Sthan under the supervision of Tourism Department.
Vicky Sharma, a shopkeeper by profession, near Toll Post, Nagrota said opening of a hospital in Nagrota was need of the hour and expressed hope that Rana would get it done. Vicky said he was fully satisfied with the work of former MLA as he is regular visitor to their area. He lauded efforts of Rana in addressing issues of the people.
Rahmat Ali, ex-Sarpanch (Bajalta) described Rana as very cooperative and always ready to address their issues in time. “Water scarcity is natural during the summer, but the PHE Department and Rana always take all possible steps to address the problem,” he said.
Bittu Ram Sumbria of village Sagoon said the Education Department should take some concrete steps to ensure adequate staff in the school in their village.
Kaka Ram, a resident of Surinsar said the lake should be developed as tourist hub and Tourism Department should upgrade/renovate the lake, which has religious importance too.
Giving his view point, Devender Singh Rana, said that he has drawn up an ambitious programme for the accelerated and all round development of Nagrota Assembly constituency and pointed out that already significant progress has been registered. He disclosed that during his tenure promising projects like IIT, Golf Course and many other development works and public welfare schemes especially for the weaker and vulnerable sections of the society were taken up.
Despite massive and all-round development of the constituency, Rana said: “this is just a humble beginning and much more is needed to be accomplished with continuous support and cooperation of the people of Nagrota segment”.
As education is key to a new era of development, Rana made efforts to ensure optimal outreach of quality academics in a phased manner. During his tenure, he laid the foundation of an edifice of ‘Naya Jammu’.
In Education sector, under quality support programme, the Bharti Enterprises is supporting 25 model schools across this constituency for over 3,500 students and 175 teachers due to the efforts of the former MLA.
Some schools being supported are:- GPS Drabi (Chibba), GMS Upper Jagti, GMS Dhoon (Kanna Chadgal Lower), GMS Seri Kalan Setni Bypass (Khanpur), GHSS Girls Kandoli (Nagrota), GHSS Surinsar, GHSS Dansal, GMS Sahnoo (Dhan), GHSS Jandrah, GHSS Jhajjar Kotli, GHSS Kathar, GHSS Kah Pota (Kanyala), GHSS Rabta (Bhagani), GPS Galali (Sarote) and GPS Panjali (Jhajjar Kotli).
Meeting over 15 years long pending demand ,the Government High School Goundla and Kanna Chadgal were upgraded to Higher Secondary level and funds provided out of CDF for installation of Water Purifiers with Water Coolers in 9 Government Schools at Nagrota, Jhajjar Kotli, Dansal, Kapotha, Jandrah, Kathar, Rabta, Surinsar and Govt Middle School Dhoon.
Rs. 2 lakh were released out of CDF for laying of floor tiles and construction of stage at Government Middle School Dhoon and Panchayat Kanna Chadgal Lower.
It is noteworthy that boundary walls of more than 37 Government schools got completed and two additional class rooms constructed in Government High School Kanna Chadgal and Dansal at a cost of about Rs. 33 lakhs besides, an Examination hall at Government High School Mathwar. Three degree colleges also got sanctioned at Jandrah, Nagrota and Sidhra, the ex-MLA said.
Rana made mention of Tata Trusts for two backward Halqa Panchayats, Dhan (Sahnoo and Dhansoo) and Kanna Chadgal (Lower), which were taken up as Islands of Excellence to impact 5,000 people and ensure integrated development of the entire constituency.
The ex-MLA said that 188 kilometres of road length was macadamized and 65 kilometers of new road length completed in addition to works involving about Rs 9181.58 were undertaken and are in progress and some bridges were constructed.
Over 186 new transformers costing about Rs. 6.54 crores provided in three blocks out of the CDF and CAPEX allocations, besides HT/LT network were improved to ensure supply in villages of this constituency. Over 100 transformers were upgraded in the constituency, Rana said.
A Grid Station of 220/33 KVA is being constructed at Surinsar and Mathwar as also high Mast Lights were provided at Jandrah, Manwal, Agore, Sagoon, Kathar and Tutan Di Khui out of the CDF, Rana stated. He added that 200 solar lights got distributed which will be installed at Temples, Masjids, Gurdwara and Church of Block Nagrota.
Major works in PHE sector involving over Rs. 785 lakhs were undertaken for extension and improvement of schemes like Rs. 40 lakhs for pumping machinery and Pump Room at Krishanpur. Dugwells were constructed at Deoon (Sagoon), Bantalab Kheteriyan, Chapper Sandrote, Badsoo; Chalni and other areas to get tap water at a cost of Rs. 154.74 lakh.
Rana said efforts are being made to develop Surinsar – Jindrah valley (via Sangar Bridge) – Dansal – Domel – Katra Vaishno Devi ji as pilgrimage tourist circuit. Beautification of Surinsar Lake was done by way of laying of floor tiles and erecting railing around the lake, he added.
He said the Union Energy Ministry has been approached to initiate various developmental works through Power Grid Corporation at Krishanpur and its adjoining areas as part of Corporate Social Responsibility.