Take effective steps to curb accidents, ensure development of Doda: Azad

LoP, Ghulam Nabi Azad talking to reporters at Jammu Airport on Wednesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
LoP, Ghulam Nabi Azad talking to reporters at Jammu Airport on Wednesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Nov 13: While expressing serious concern over the rising number of accidents in erstwhile Doda district and total neglect of area in terms of development, former Union Health Minister and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad has asked State Administration to take effective steps in this direction.
Mr Azad who arrived here this morning from Union Capital on three-day visit to Doda, Bhaderwah and Ramban told reporters “It is unfortunate that entirely Doda region is in grief over Tuesday’s accident in which 16 people were killed and one injured.”
He said that many innocent lives are claimed in road mishaps in Doda every year and the Government must take notice of it. He said condition of the roads is also very bad and there is need to pay attention towards this problem and ensure better development in otherwise neglected area.
“I appeal to the new J&K Lt Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu to take measures to prevent road accidents so that many lives could be saved,” Azad said.
He expressed his desire to meet people in Doda and also visit families of road accident victims.
Later, Azad along with some party leaders straightway left for Batote and Doda. At Udhampur and Chenani , the party functionaries and former Legislators including KC Bhagat met Azad and projected issues of the general public.
Several delegations also met Azad at Batote Dak Bungalow during afternoon and projected the local issues. Some elected independent BDC chairpersons also called on Azad and highlighted the issues. Ex-MLA Ramban Ashok Kumar briefed him about recent political developments and plight of the general public.
During his by road journey from Jammu to Doda, some deputations also met him at Assar and Kanderi Nallah led by former MLC Sham Lal Bhagat and BCC members. They also told Azad about worst condition of Marmat Road where accident took place on Tuesday killing 16 people. They strongly held State Administration and pervious PDP-BJP Govt responsible for worst condition of roads and lack of development in entire Chenab belt of Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban.
At Doda, Azad met dozens of deputations of local public and party functionaries. Former ministers, Mohd Sharief Niaz, Ghulam Mohd Saroori, Abdul Majid Wani, former MLC Naresh Gupta, senior DCC member from Kishtwar, Mohd Aslam Malik and several other DCC/BCC members apprised Mr Azad of the local issues, neglect of Chenab belt, discrimination and harassment of Congress workers.
They alleged that condition of the roads was worst and many development works started during previous Cong-NC regime have been stopped. There was no accountability of the officers at all and the corruption has increased many fold. Bureaucrats and other middle rung officers are least bothered about the plight of the public. The doctors and other paramedical staff are not available in many hospitals in Doda and Kishtwar and public issues have become least priority for this Administration, they alleged.
Mr Azad also paid visit to new Govt Medical College and Hospital at Doda which was sanctioned by him during his tenure as Union Health Minister few years ago and also met with some patients their attendants and Hospital Administration. He inquired about the shortcomings and facilities being provided to the general public at present.
Tomorrow, Azad will visit Bhaderwah. After meeting public delegations at Bhalla and Bhaderwah, he will leave for Ramban where he will have night stay and also meet delegations from Banihal and Ramban constituencies. The day after tomorrow, he will return to Jammu and then leave for Delhi in the evening.