Disheartened LAHDC dashes fresh communique to ‘indifferent’ Govt

Disheartened LAHDC dashes fresh communique to ‘indifferent’ Govt

18 July 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Disheartened over no hike in the Annual District Plan during the past three consecutive years, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh has dashed a fresh communiqué to the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah mentioning that shortfall in the overall resource availability in the Plan has marred the developmental prospects and led to delays and postponement of various ongoing projects. Official sources told EXCELSIOR that though Autonomous Hill Development Council for Leh was created about 17 years back (in 1995) yet no perceptible change has been made in the annual District Plan finalization process and allocation for Leh is being made on the pattern of other districts of the State. Moreover, no one time substantial hike in the District Plan was ever considered by the successive State Governments in utter disregard to the aspirations of Leh people. Now, the lack of concern towards Leh has reached up to such an extent that the district has been devoid of even the customary 10 % step-up on the annual outlays for the past three consecutive years and this has further compounded the financial constraints of the district, they said, adding the shortfalls in the overall resource availability in the Annual District Plan has marred the developmental prospects and led to delays and postponement of ongoing projects. Disheartened over no hike in Annual District Plan and subsequent difficulties in meeting the developmental requirements of the district, Chief Executive Councilor (CEC) of LAHDC Leh recently dashed a fresh communication to the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah seeking his immediate intervention for favourable action in the allocation of annual funds as reflected in the draft Five Year Plan (2012-17) and Annual Plan (2012-13) already submitted by the Hill Council to the State Government. According to the CEC’s communication vide No.LAHDC-CEC-11-2012 addressed to Chief Minister, the Hill Council has sought capital outlay of Rs 139.99 crore inclusive of Rs 12.77 crore NABARD loan for the current financial year as against Rs 71 crore being sanctioned during the past three consecutive years. 'The draft Five Year Plan 2012-17 and Annual Plan 2012-13 submitted by this district also reflects the need of increased investments and institutional arrangements towards the realization of Ladakh Vision 2025', the Hill Council said, adding 'the massive havoc that the August 2010 flash floods brought to the district also shattered the insignificant resource of the district and essential infrastructure damaged during the floods is still incomplete with huge pending liabilities to be cleared for the completed works'. Sources said, 'no doubt additionalities are given yet the plan base remains same and doesn’t give any benefit during the next years', adding 'it is pity that no step-up is given in the Annual Plan despite the fact that available infrastructure is being used by around two lakh tourists and around 80,000 migrant labourers every year besides own population of the district'. In response to a question, sources said, 'the Hill Council has already submitted Perspective Plan aimed at bringing strategic focus in the District Plan during the 12th Five Year Plan period to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission of India, Montek Singh Ahluwalia', adding 'supporting Perspective Plan of the LAHDC is imperative to implement the strategies spelt out in the vision document- Ladakh 2025 which was appreciated at all the quarters'. 'The strategies spelt out in the vision document are aimed at matching development plans of the district in consonance with the fast changing internal and external environment and meet the growing expectations of the people effectively', sources further said. When contacted, CEC Rigjin Spalbar confirmed that no hike has been made in the Annual District Plan for Leh during the past three consecutive years. 'Following our communications to Prime Minister and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission in the month of February this year, Planning Commission had asked the State Government to discuss the Perspective Plan of the LAHDC during the meetings on Annual Plan (2012-13) and Five Year Plan (2012-17)', he said. 'However, we don’t have any information about whether there was any discussion during the recent Plan finalization meeting at Planning Commission of India', the CEC said while hoping that Chief Minister would sympathetically consider the request of LAHDC Leh shortly.