‘Those who represented us till date fail to deliver’
JAMMU, Dec 1: People of under-developed areas have exercised their franchise with the hope that District Development Council (DDC) members would give top priority to bridging the gap between them and the administration, which is the main reason behind all their miseries.
The general complaint of the people of such areas is that whosoever represented them in different forums till date has failed to deliver up to their expectations and they will not hesitate to adopt the agitational path if the members of District Development Councils would toe the same line instead of focusing on their basis issues.
This was the stance of large number of voters in Paddar and Dachhan areas of Kishtwar district, Banihal of Ramban district and Kashtigarh of Doda district, which went to polls in the Phase-II of the DDC elections today.
“We overwhelmingly voted in all the previous elections but our basic issues pertaining to roads, water and power supply have remained unresolved till date mainly because the administration always looked after the vested interests of the politicians who were in power”, said Mahinder Kumar of Paddar after casting vote, adding “actually there is wide gap between administration and people because of the unconcerned politicians”.
He further said, “everybody knows that Paddar is known for sapphire mines and Machail Mata shrine and produces large quantity of cumin (Jeera) but these aspects never received due attention of those who represented us from time to time as a result of which scientific exploration/excavation of sapphire and providing commercial market to cumin remains a distant dream”, adding “it is really a matter of concern that even highly revered shrine of Machail Mata has not been provided with road connectivity despite tall claims about laying of network of roads”.
Another voter of middle age Ved Raj Khajuria, who is also vice-president of Paddar Welfare Front, said, “we are still confronting the basic issues like water and power crisis and poor road connectivity and this is mainly because there is no connection between people and the administration”.
“No doubt the Government initiated a number of measures like public outreach programmes but ensuring visit of officers to remote areas once or twice a year is not going to bring an end to the miseries of under-developed areas like Paddar”, he said, adding “people of the area had lots of hopes about getting employment with the tapping of immense power potential but no positive development has taken place till date and Kirthai project is a testimony”.
Another voter Doulat Ram of Paddar said, “there are numerous areas which still lack proper road connectivity although tall claims are being made by the politicians about laying network of roads under PMGSY”, adding “people are not getting employment even under flagship scheme of MGNREGA but none from the administration or those who were voted to power by the people ever felt it imperative to enquire about the same despite numerous complaints”.
Large number of people of Paddar and Dachhan areas of Kishtwar said that they have exercised their franchise with the hope that District Development Council (DDC) members would give top priority to bridging the gap between them and the administration, which is the main reason behind all their miseries. “If the gap is bridged resolution of basis issues will not be a problem”, they said.
“As all the contesting candidates are aware of the basic issues of the people of their respective constituencies we are hopeful that this time we will get justice”, Abdul Majid of Dachhan said, adding “unlike MLAs, who after winning elections move to Jammu or Srinagar on the pretext of chasing out issues with the Government, the DDC member will be available round the clock and we will ensure that he regularly attend to our issues and get the same resolved through the administration”.
Several people of Kashtigarh and Banihal, while interacting with EXCELSIOR after casting votes, said “we have lots of expectations from the DDC members about resolving all our basis issues”, adding “we know that major projects fall in the domain of Government but at least issues pertaining to power and water supply, road connectivity, ensuring availability of Government officials particularly in the vital departments in the rural areas should receive priority attention of DDC members”.
Some of them even went to the extent of saying that they will adopt the agitational path if the DDC members fail to work for their welfare as already they have suffered a lot due to neglecting attitude of the politicians.