There is no mention at the national-level about “good things” happening in Jammu and Kashmir, governor Satya Pal Malik said on Wednesday, and asserted that the state is being “demonised at the national-level”.
Addressing a press conference here, Malik said: “The Jammu and Kashmir state has been demonised at the national level. Even a small incident (in the state) is blown out of proportions and not projected as it should be. The state is shown as a bad place”.
“I have been the governor of Bihar and I was born and brought up in Uttar Pradesh. I have observed and seen that Jammu and Kashmir is a much better place than these places in a lot of ways. That is why it is our responsibility to spread truth,” he said.
The governor said the urban local body and panchayat elections took place “peacefully and successfully” in Jammu and Kashmir.
“But none in the national media or press spoke about it. They only want to use mishaps and turmoil as headlines, and not the good (things) happening on the ground,” he said.
The governor had called the presser to talk about “development initiatives” taken by his administration in Jammu and Kashmir in the past five months. He was flanked by advisors BB Vyas (now his former advisor), K Vijay Kumar, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai and K K Sharma, chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and principal secretary to the governor, Umang Narula.
The governor also released a compendium of “key development, welfare and other measures” initiated by his administration in the state.
Talking about measures to curb corruption, the governor said: “I had said somewhere that there is corruption prevalent in Kashmir. On this, a senior leader said that I am defaming Kashmiris. I then responded saying that the people who are indulging in corruption are actually defaming Kashmiris. A common man, who uses a mule to go for Amarnath yatra, does not have a sweater. On the other hand, the people in power—politics, bureaucracy or business—have a better standard of living than even the Mughal ruler Jahangir had.”
On construction of bunkers in border areas of Rajouri and Poonch, the governor said: “Since the cost of construction is too high, the union home ministry has, some two to three days back, rationalised a plan and approved a project. The work will be started immediately.”
About youth picking up arms in Kashmir, like the 14-year-old Muddasir Ahmad from Hajin area in Bandipora, who was killed in a gunfight on Srinagar outskirts recently, the governor said: “I am saddened by the death of a young boy, but there are a lot of things related to the issue. It is not a small one, but a vast political issue. I cannot answer it right now”.
On the issue of revocation of armed forces special powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir, the governor said: “Only the central government can decide on it. We cannot.”
Asked about lack of development in the state’s sports arena, the governor said: “I am happy to inform you that ‘Real Kashmir’, our football team, is performing really well in the I-League. I had been asked not to speak about it much due to various political reasons which I cannot divulge here. There is a huge crowd watching the team play in J&K. We have directed all deputy commissioners to identify land and provide it to children for sports activities. Around 500 sports auditoriums are near completion. Developing sports sector is one of our primary aims.”
About a proposal to grant divisional status to Ladakh and consequent demands of for a similar status to Pir Panchal and Chenab Valley, the governor said: “I know about the demands of the people of Ladakh, but I have only read newspaper reports about Pir Panchal and Chenab Valley. We will do what is most suitable thing for the people of Ladakh as they have been demanding it for a long time. We will look into merits and demerits and do the best thing possible.”
RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS
To a query why most machines were non-functional in government hospitals in Jammu and Srinagar, and two government medical colleges in the twin capital cities, the governor’s advisor K Vijay Kumar responded: “We have seen at many places, machines are available but manpower isn’t, and vice-versa. We are trying to address this issue. We will be recruiting around 1000 new doctors, some of whom will be awarded certificates by the governor here in Jammu. We are also looking to rationalise staff to ensure that specialists are available in all right places.”
“We have sanctioned around 150 posts for district hospitals in Ganderbal, Bandipora, Ramban, Kishtwar, Samba and Reasi. We are tackling the issue of shortage of doctors,” the chief secretary added.
Asked about smart cities project, the CS said: “Something big is coming in both Jammu and Srinagar. Just wait till Saturday. We will have some major developments. The twin cities deserve something futuristic”.
Asked by this correspondent why there is a feeling that the decisions taken in the last cabinet meeting (during the elected government in J&K) are being implemented selectively, the chief secretary replied: “I do not think there is any selective implementation. Things are coming and they are being processed. Nothing is being held up because of any intention. There might be some delay in processing, but whatever the cabinet had approved will be implemented.” He was asked why orders for career progression of engineers haven’t been issued if the same has been done in the cases of KAS and police officers.
The governor was also asked about approval of Rs 965 crore for projects related to hydraulics sector (in the PHE department) amid vacant posts of six chief engineers, 17 SEs and over 70 executive engineers and how the administration expects progress on these projects in such a scenario, the chief secretary replied: “In PHE, PWD and PDD, there are no seniority lists. Most of the seniority lists are in the court(s) of law and there are a lot of stay orders. We only have the approved seniority list of AEEs. There is no seniority list of anyone above that rank. All officers have charges, be it in-charge XEN, in-charge SE, or in-charge chief engineer. They retire like that only.”
“We do not have enough manpower to create DPRs for projects. For this, the secretaries of PWD and PHE have been directed to form two separate cells for creating DPRs, one in Jammu and one in Kashmir. They have also been asked to appoint people into these cells,” he said.
“We have a paucity of funds. We have projects, but not enough funds. But the projects of JKIDFC have enough funds and the projects are sanctioned. This ensures easy cash flow and that is how projects will be completed. We are looking into all issues. The finance department is monitoring all projects through a system. Geo-tagging will be done and people will be able to see the progress of projects, being updated every 15 days,” the CS said.
Credit: Source link