Chief Minister’s Public Darbar In Kashmir-rhetoric Or Reaching Out To The People

Chief Minister’s Public Darbar In Kashmir-rhetoric Or Reaching Out To The People

18 November 2010
Punjab Newsline
Bashir Assad

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah hold public darbars (interaction with people) at Srinagar and Kupwara for two consecutive days of November 14 & 15. It was after five months of complete turmoil and lawlessness that Chief Minister had a sigh of relief as he could meet the people who till yesterday were allergic to mainstream politics. The response was quite encouraging as thousands of people in delegations as well as individual capacities from different shades of life met Chief Minister at Srinagar and Kupwara to seek redressal of their problems. Omar Abdullah had six and a half hour continuous interaction with different delegations, individuals, social groups of Srinagar at his private office on Sunday last. The different delegations from Srinagar who were desirous fro massive development of Srinagar were assured by the Chief Minister that it is the real intention of the government to develop Srinagar as greater city for which huge funds have been earmarked. Even if due to some disturbances work could not be completed but he assured the citizens of Srinagar that within shortest possible time and despite huge weather constraints, all departments have been strictly instructed to endeavour hard for accomplishment of their targeted developmental works in Srinagar. The Chief Minister said that he is hopeful that private sector will come out of economical crisis very soon. He said the strengthening of private business and economical sector will definitely help such youth to contribute their experience back in the sector they were working Though Chief Minister issued directions to the concerned authorities for on spot redressal but the past experience stands witness to the fact that the officers in Kashmir hardly listen to the directions. ” Such meetings have been held in the past as well. But the officials have hardly listened to the directions. People in rural areas are suffering on various fronts. They have the grievances which nobody addresses. The state government had at one point of time promised to take governance to the doorsteps of people. That mechanism is yet to be put in place” said Iftikhar Ahmad who met Chief Minister at his private office in Srinagar on Sunday. He added that for petty things, people still have to roam for pillar to post. “The state government must ensure that the genuine grievances of people are addressed within a specific period of time. There are so many complaints pending in the Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell. They need to be looked into. Accountability is the hallmark of any efficient government” Iftikhar averred. “ The Chief Minister assured the people, he met, that he was fully committed the development, progress and prosperity of the people but I doubt whether the directions issued to the officers would yield any results” said Siraj-u-din Khatana of Kupwara. Yes, Chief Minister earmarked hundreds of crores for PHE, Education, Health, Irrigation, Local Bodies, R&B, Floriculture, Rural Development, Agriculture, Horticulture, Flood control for their progress. Long queues of enthusiastic people were waiting in and around the Dak Bungalow for Chief Minister, in fact he gave patient hearing to all 32 delegations and the people who met him in individual capacity during his long 5 hours stay in Kupwara, but I am afraid the people who waited for hours together would be disappointed by the lukewarm response of the concerned officers which could culminate in yet another turmoil in the valley: said Manzur Masudi who met Chief Minister at Kupwara along with a delegation. Masudi said false hopes and broken promises have resulted in political upsurge in Kashmir and if the officers are not made accountable, at least by now, the situation will take the ugliest turn. ‘If it is rhetoric, it will be disastrous and if Chief Minister really wants to deliver , he is welcome, Masudi said.


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