Slow pace, ill-planned execution of works render Govt schemes futile in Gool-Arnas

People accuse former Rep of being biased

Nishikant Khajuria
GOOL-ARNAS: Even as footprints of development are very much visible in the Gool-Arnas Assembly constituency, slow pace and ill-planned execution of works, lack of general awareness, petty politics and corruption have virtually rendered Government schemes futile with the result that unfruitful expenditure of public money can be seen in abundance in this hilly Assembly segment, where vital posts remain vacant for months and sometimes for years together as Government officers and officials avoid to serve here owing to bad conditioned roads.
The spread of road networks under PMGSY, NABARD, MGNREGA and CRF has linked almost each and every village with the main road but maximum of these road are still fair weather and some of them have been left incomplete with the result that people have more grievances than gratitude with regard to these roads. Because of various reasons, like non-availability of funds, abandoning of work by the contractors who remain interested in earth work only, non-availability of hot-mix plant in the area, corrupt practices in the PMGSY Department and sometimes family or community disputes, work on several roads is still incomplete since years.

Fifteen kilometer long road from Suli Gali to Chakras via Dharmari, 26 km long Thuroo-Buddhan road, Sangaldhan to Ind, Sangaldhan to Thatharka, Kantha to Mahaking, Harog to Karara, Gambiri to Gujjar Gali etc are all still fair weather roads and what to talk of macadamization, these even lack drainage and retaining walls, said Mohd Sharief, Ex chairman of Panchayat Sangaldhan. Three-kilometer long NABARD road from Sounchal Gali to Palad via Chan is an example of plundering Government money by the contractor in connivance with the concerned Department. Because of wrong drawing and incomplete earth cutting work, even a mule can’t move on this road whereas a payment of Rs 53 lakh was got released by the contractor against the said work in March 2018, alleged a local Mohd Rafiq while pointing towards steep elevations and uncut boulders on this road. Arnas to Handergali road under PMGSY was sanctioned in 2012 but the same is still incomplete due to infighting among the localities and communities divided on political affiliations despite sanctioning of funds under CRF heads.
Same is the case with Power infrastructure, which has improved a lot in the recent time but the fact is also that at some places, barbed wire and trees have been used for extending the supply line from poles while at various places, 11 KV Transformers were seen installed on ground and covered with wild blackberry bushes, thus inviting fatal mishaps.
Inadequate staff strength in schools is a common phenomenon with the result that education of the students is made to suffer. The Government High School Buddhan, which was established in 1974, has more than 450 students but only four teachers and no Headmaster whereas sanctioned strength of the school is ten (five Masters, one senior Teachers, three Teachers and a Headmaster). Owing to no teachers, the poor academic standard and pass percentage of these Government schools need no words to be explained. At High School Dhalwa near Sangaldhan, only two out of 150 students could get through in the class 10th annual results, last year.
At HSS Chaklas, where 502 students are presently enrolled, there has been no Headmaster for the last two years. Against the sanctioned strength of 15, there are only 3 teachers and two ReTs, informed Jam-ud-Din and Bashir Ahmad, both the teachers. At Middle School Chichi Jamslan, there are 200 students but only 2 teachers while at Primary School Karmi, only one teachers has been taking the classes and whereabouts of the other one are not known even to the locals.
As far as Health and Medical infrastructure is concerned, there are no doctors in the Health Centres. PHC Buddhan has no Doctor but only a Medical Assistant who attends the patients while at Sub-Centre Chaklas, there is not even a Medical Assistant but only a Female Multi-Purpose Health Worker (FMPHW), who visits the centre whenever vaccination drives are launched in the area, said Shakil Shabaz, a local youth.
From Saldar to Lincha area, which comprises five Panchayats having around 20 thousand population, there is no doctor in the Primary Health Centres here, informed Shakil Shabaz, a local youth, who alleged that because of non-availability of doctors, there have been instances of deaths of pregnant women and accident victims, whose lives could have been saved. The PHC building at Jamslan, constructed in 2006 at the cost of Rs 26 lakh, is lying abandoned since then. The said PHC is being functioned from a rented shed at Mokha Gali, 4 kms away from Jamslan because of some tussle between the two villages over the issue, informed Bashir Ahmad Hajan of Jamslan.
At Sangaldhan and some other areas, the major issue is scarcity of water and according to Pardeep Singh, a young local Civil Engineer working with IRCON, this problem needs emergency measures at short terms as well as long terms basis. “Because of tunneling projects in the region, maximum of the natural water resources have either dried up or at the verge of extinction with the result that there is acute scarcity of water in the entire area with a population of more than 50 thousand souls,” he explained.
Besides complaining about inadequate supply of Government ration, people of several remote areas like Chichi Jamslan demanded Post Office and Animal Husbandry centre while at Budhan, locals rued that the Government did not repair the damages caused in 2014 floods. They were particularly aggrieved over no repair of 2.5 km long Budhan-Chamba canal, which was only source of irrigating the fields belonging to more than 500 families in the area.
However, despite all these prevalent issues and grievances of general public, there was apparently no resentment against the former MLA Ajaz Khan, who had been representing this constituency for the third consecutive term, since 2002. In fact, some people, who might be sympathizers of Ajaz Khan, claimed that the constituency has recently witnessed a series of developmental works, particularly in respect of road networks in interiors of the area and improvement in the power scenario.
“If we compare the present state of this constituency with the past picture , the contribution of Ajaz Ahmad Khan can be well judged,” said a social activist Parveen Akhter, who runs a Self Help Group of women preparing handbags for Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. As per Zorawar Singh of Dharmari and Abdul Latief at Chichi Jamslan, the monthly meetings, being s convened by the MLA on day 2nd of every month where public highlight their issues before all the officers, was a major sources of getting the general grievances addressed.
On the other hand, some locals in Sangaldhan alleged that the then MLA was concerned only about welfare of the people of his own community and those supporting him. However, at the same time, they confessed that Ajaz Khan has a strong grip on the pockets, which support him and hence as of now, there was virtually no leader who could be challenge to him.
Comprising more than 60 thousand voters, Gool- Arnas Assembly constituency was carved out by way of delimitation in 1995 when the erstwhile Arnas constituency was bifurcated into two parts- Gool Arnas and Gulabgarh-Mahore. Ajaz Ahmad Khan, son of legendry Gujjar leader Haji Buland Khan, has been representing this constituency since 2002.
When contacted, Ajaz Khan listed series of developmental works initiated by him under various heads of schemes for the welfare of people in his constituency. “In the last three years, Power scenario has been improved a lot by installing 55 number of new 25 KVA Sub-Stations along with laying of LT, HT network, augmentation by way of up-gradating more than a dozen of 25 KVA Sub-Stations to 100 KVA and 63 KVA Sub-Stations in various areas and electrification of un-electrified pockets like Gund, etc in the Gool-Arnas Assembly constituency,” he informed and added that Receiving Centres at Sangaldhan and Dharmari have been upgraded to 3.15MCA and 6.30 MVA, respectively while work on new Receiving Centre at Panassa Thakrakote was going on.
With regard to road network, the MLA informed that 92 PMGSY roads in convergence with CDF are under construction in the Constituency while some of them are set to be blacktopped under Phase 2, which began recently. Similarly, he added, construction of 77 roads has been taken up by R&B(PWD) since 2014 and some of them have been completed while work on others is either going on or about to start soon.
For improvement in Health scenario, Ajaz Khan informed that he initiated construction of 14 Sub-Centre buildings and staff quarters at various places, NTPC building at Chinkah and repair of centres besides providing ambulances for Budhan, Thuroo, Dalwa, Ind and Surranda.
“Construction of Indoor Stadium and TRC building at Gool, school buildings at Brakund, Dachasn, Gagra, Dharam, Deedha, Gagra, Goie, Panchayat Ghars and 55 foot bridge at Maswa, Dheeha, Nalla, Muffi near Gharatnallah at are other developmental works done in the last three and half years,” the former MLA said.
In respect of Water Supply Schemes, he added that 10 schemes were taken up under District Plan and nine under NABARD while four MNP schemes were also under execution.


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