Identification of dead wood should start from the top officers: Harsh Dev.

Jammu:   Referring to the directions issued by the Govt to the DCs to identify the dead wood in various Deptts within their respective Districts, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh Chairman-JKNPP and former Minister observed that the exercise appeared to be confined to only lower rung employees to the exclusion of high ranking officers of civil and police administration. Cleansing of staircase must always start from the top officers, asserted Mr. Singh, while urging upon the Lt. Governor to start the process of identification of dead work from the top officers running the administration at state and divisional levels or heading various Districts. Any harassment of lesser employees like VLWs, Patwaris, Clerks, Teachers, Linemen would only evoke cynicism and prove counterproductive for the govt, said Mr. Singh. He was addressing a press conference in Jammu today.

Maintaining that all corruption and red-tape flowed from the top, Mr. Singh said that the number of grievances against the higher level officers far exceeded the minor complaints pending, if any, against the lesser employees. There were countless complaints against top bureaucracy of delays in release of grants, disposal of files and pending dues of bonafide claimants, disregard for public representations besides other acts of omissions and commissions which however were not taken cognizance by anyone including the vigilante organizations. The top bureaucracy appeared to be enjoying immunity from all their bizarre moves and actions however devious or mischievous they were.

Pointing towards the reply given by the Lt. Governor’s secretariat in response to an RTI filed by him, Mr. Singh said that the top officers had even failed to reply to as many as four reminders sent by the Hon’ble Lt. Governor’s office during the course of one year pertaining to public issues relating to Deptts of Health, Education, Power, J&K Bank etc. If the top officers did not respond to LG’s letters, the fate of others could be well imagined, said Mr. Singh. “In another case, the compensation for 10 houses dismantled on the alignment of Barmeen–Sarsu road in Ghordi Block had been deposited by PMGSY Deptt with District Collector Udhampur in 2012 but has remained unpaid till date with the officers concerned holding the funds for nine years only for vested interests. It was only last week that the present DC agreed to release the payments after the Panthers Party sought action against the delinquent officers”, divulged Mr. Singh. Should such officers not be prioritized for lay-off in the first instance for having unreasonably harassed the poor houseless farmers for nine years? questioned Mr. Singh.

Seeking the termination of all such dead wood and corrupt elements at the top in the first instance, Mr. Singh said that any unreasonable harassment of lower rung employees to the exclusion of their top bosses would not only dent the residual credibility of the govt but could also have serious repercussions.

 Mr. Singh further flayed the govt order seeking recovery of payments made to employees during election duties for Panchayats and local bodies’ polls during such critical times of corona and raging inflation.

Mr. Surinder Chouhan (District President Jammu Rural); Mr. Gurdeep Singh (Youth Secretary Jammu Rural) and Mr. Satpaul Singh were also present in the press conference