Jammu, Apr 10: National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Wednesday expressed grave concern over undermining the time tested institutional mechanism of District Development Boards, saying the PDP-BJP dispensation has set a wrong precedence of diluting their efficacy.
“Governments come and governments go but the sanctity of institutions had to be maintained for the larger interest of the State and its people”, Devender Singh Rana said while addressing Jammu DDB meeting here this morning.
Rana, who represents Nagrota Assembly Constituency in the Legislative Assembly, took strong exception to the absence of Ministers and Administrative Secretaries in the meeting, saying this speaks volumes about importance being attached by the government to the institution of District Development Board. Except for three ministers, two of them MLAs of the Jammu district and three administrative secretaries, others did not find it appropriate or worth their status to attend such meetings, he said and described the nonchalant attitude of the functionaries of the government, ministers included, and their arrogance as insult to the people of Jammu.
The MLA said the Jammu district, like rest of the state, is braving the brunt of developmental paralysis and administrative inertia, which could perhaps be a compelling factor for the ministerial and other senior administrative representatives of the government to avoid the opposition and defend non-performance of over three years. “In any case, this sad state of state of affairs is undemocratic and unpardonable”, he said, adding that absence of concerned deprives the Board of knowing about the status of various decisions taken by the Board.
Rana highlighted the apathetic attitude of the coalition government, saying administration has failed in reaching out to the people. In this context, he referred to the lackadaisical and motivated approach of the government in implementation of the decision of the previous government with regard to administrative units and said the consequences were seen in parts of Rajouri district. The situation is similar in other areas, like Jandrah, which has been deprived of functional Tehsil office despite assurances in the Legislative Assembly and other forums. Such a response, he said, has alienated the people from the government, as they feel let down on all fronts.
The MLA Nagrota also referred to the huge expanse of Jammu district and demanded carving out of two more districts—Jammu Urban and Jammu Rrural—with separate funding to ensure planned development.
Rana, took to the floor of the Board and highlighted various issues confronted to the people of Nagrota Constituency in respect of development and other utility services. He particularly reiterated his concern over unsafe school buildings, saying Higher Secondary School, Kathar Upper, Government Primary School Sarah (Zone Gandhi Nagar), Government Middle School Seri Kalan Setni Bypass (Zone Dansal) in Panchayat Khanpur, Kattal Batal, Govt High School Kathar (Manwal) are in a dilapidated condition that could be risky for safety of students. This generated a debate and Rana hoped that the assurance held out by the Chair about safety audit of schools being carried out with appropriate corrective measures would be kept by the concerned agencies. He again took up the issue of vacancies of Urdu teachers and said that the government does not seem to be interested in filling up these. “Please have the Urdu teachers for the sake of students”, he appealed.
Rana sought renaming of Jammu IIT after the name of Mian Deedo and 40 per cent employment to locals in the support staff of IIT and IIM. He also urged the government to supplement the efforts of revival of heritage route to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, originating from Jagati, the DPR of which has been prepared by INTACH and submitted to Governor N N Vohra, in his capacity as Chairman SMVDSB for promoting it as part of pilgrim tourism.