Srinagar, November 29: The new Governor of Jammu and Kashmir after taking reigns of the state had said that corruption, inefficiency and sluggishness within the system will not be tolerated. However, months down the line, it seems corruption has reached to its peak and delivery on the ground is disappointing.
The situation which was there in the previous PDP-BJP government is still prevalent with people crying for basic amenities like power, potable water and ration. The power scenario in Kashmir has turned from bad to worse as the Power Development Department has failed to ensure power supply as per their curtailment schedule. With harsh winter fast approaching, government must tackle this situation on priority. Though the government claims there is improvement in governance, reality is that the power situation is same as it was during the previous years. There is no improvement.
Unemployment is on rise and no steps are being taken to tackle this menace. As per the Labour Bureau, Union Ministry of Labour and Employment, Jammu Kashmir has a very high unemployment rate in entire India and as per a survey conducted by the bureau in 2015-16, Jammu Kashmir has 72 unemployed persons per thousand, which means the number of unemployed youths in the State is over nine lakh based on 2011 Census. Unemployment in the state is a reality and a sole by-product of an incapacitated policymaking. Unemployment plays a role in the frustration and mental stress younger generation.
While calling for an immediate end to killing spree of civilians, they expressed sympathies with the families of the victims. Killing of civilians can never be solution to any problem. Whether a civilian is killed by the bullet from one side or the other side, it is loss of precious human life. Whose cause’ is fulfilled by the killings of civilians? Unfortunately, it is a Kashmiri who is getting killed every day.
Mere death count will not lead to any solution. It is heart-rending to learn about civilian killings, which have become norm of the day. Bold political initiatives and sincere confidence building measures (CBMs) is the real answer to the massive alienation prevalent among the people, especially youth.
During recent unexpected and untimely snowfall, orchardists in Kashmir suffered huge losses. The announced scale of relief under “state-specific special natural calamity” for damaged orchards is insufficient given the quantum of destruction caused due to the heavy snowfall. The early snowfall not only affected the returns this year but is bound to affect the returns from the horticulture crops for the years to come. One-time exemption of KCC loan to the small farmers and fruit growers whose harvest was damaged by the snowfall is need of the hour.
The daily-wages/casual labourers, ASHA and Mid-Day Meal scheme workers have been totally neglected. The long pending demands of regularisation of daily-wages/casual labourers have not been met and even their wages are not being paid for months together. They are awaiting their regularization although government has issued SRO last year which is quite disappointing. The meager incentives of ASHA and Mid-Day Meal scheme workers have not been paid for months, compounding their miseries.
Some of the Anganwadi workers are widows, who are the sole breadwinners of their respective families. How will they manage without if government has stopped their wages? The callous attitude of authorities has created uncertainty among these workers. Although Anganwadi workers and helpers have forced the Union government to announce an increase in their remuneration, the basic issues of recognition, pension and social security has still not been addressed. Meagre hike in wages is not going to address the burning issues of Anganwadi workers & helpers, as their families are dependent on them.
Expressing serious concern over the pathetic condition of widows, orphans, destitute, handicapped, and old-aged people in the State, the leaders sought personal intervention of Hon’ble Governor for release of their long pending pensions. Their files are pending in District offices since long. Thousands of financial assistance cases of widows, orphans, old aged people and handicapped persons are pending for years before social welfare offices in different districts of the State for want of funds. The condition of these needy people has been worsened by the delay in release of their meagre monetary entitlements.
Bringing the Jammu and Kashmir Bank under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) act, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) guidelines and the State Legislature, is a welcome step. There is need for thorough discussion on affairs of the J&K Bank, in the Legislative Assembly. However the decision of the state administrative council (SAC) to turn the bank into a public sector undertaking (PSU) is unwarranted and must be reconsidered.