JK Suffers Governance Paralysis: Mufti Sayeed

JK Suffers Governance Paralysis: Mufti Sayeed

7 July 2012
Greater Kashmir


Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed Saturday said the governance-deficit in the state is worse than paralysis “with the Mughal road becoming one of its victims.” Addressing a public meeting here today Mufti said it was scandalous that an amount of Rs 268 crore had reportedly been surrendered in previous years out of the funds allocated for Mughal Road. Mufti said connecting people of all regions was a crucial part of PDP vision for the state. “Inclusion of Kishtwar-Sinthan-Anantnag road, construction of the tunnel across Zojilla and extension of North-South corridor up to Srinagar was part of the same vision that was unfolded after 2002 with a positive and generous response by government of India,” he said and added that, however, the inability to push these projects on priority has resulted in all of them running years behind schedule. Mufti said these road projects had remained trapped in the security jargon for decades resulting in severe impediments to growth and development of the state, but PDP was able to start them with government of India help and multilateral funding from institutions like the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He said instead of completing this highway on time and securing funds for construction of a tunnel to make it an all weather facility the government has virtually subverted this project which has the potential of rewriting the destiny of areas connected by it and the people living there. “Even the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed it out in a report and the government of India reportedly withheld further funding for the state’s inability to spend,” he said. Mufti said while governance had almost collapsed, the rulers were unable to come out of their arrogance and contempt for positive advice. “Hospitals are without even basic amenities, thousands of positions in health sector alone are vacant and patients unable to receive even basic care,” he said. Similarly the government stores in the engineering departments are reportedly empty and works programs are still to be drawn up. While power supply has been the worst victim of this government’s inefficient management there are demonstrations even for drinking and irrigation water almost every day. “How can this government achieve anything substantial with such callousness and expect people to believe its announcements?” he wondered. “It is a sad reflection on the functioning of the state government that reportedly a mere Rs 350 crores have been spent under the Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyan (SSA) last year out of a grant of Rs 1500 crores,” he said terming it as a criminal waste of opportunity to upgrade basic education system. Similarly, no action has been taken under another central scheme RMSA that aims at providing infrastructure for high schools, he said. “This scheme has the potential of transforming the entire education system but it has been reported that not a single school has been taken up under it,” he said. Speaking on the occasion senior PDP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig said the present government had failed to give the same priority treatment to horticulture that the previous government had ensured. “The development of fruit markets had stopped and even the construction of a Controlled Atmosphere Store (CAS) at Shopian had been shelved,” he said and added that the horticulture constituted one of the fundamentals of state’s economy that had a vast potential to grow further but the present dispensation had failed to implement the Rs 400 crore technology mission sanctioned many years back. He said the PDP led government had liberated the industry from heavy taxation and introduced marketing and processing strategies that ensured higher returns for apple and other fruits but the NC led coalition has reversed all those policies which could further increase unemployment. Senior party leader and former Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Karra on this occasion said that credibility of the present regime headed by National Conference (NC) has reached at its lowest ebb because this dispensation has lost faith of the common masses due to its “misdeeds and rampant corruption.” “There is total chaos and anarchy because the present regime has failed to bring transparency and accountability in the government,” he said. Karra said that development works under the state and central sectors are victims of government lethargy, corruption and favoritism. “Whatever works are taken up are driven by contractors close to government and some ministers,” he said. Legislator Abdul Razaq Zawoora, district president Muhammad Shafi Banday also addressed the meeting.