J&K govt must clarify its definition of ‘Deadwood’ and ‘Corrupt’: Harsh

Jammu, 04-12-2021Accusing the J&K govt of making haughty and supercilious claims over ‘accountability’ and ‘corruption free dispensation’ in the UT, Mr Harsh Dev Singh chairman JKNPP and former minister today said that the ground reality was invariably in inverse proportion to the articulation of the said slogans. “With corruption having become all pervasive and work culture conspicuously missing, the state of governance was utterly pathetic. The corrupt and the non performers continuing to occupy significant positions, the tall pronouncements and lofty slogans of the govt of cleansing the system and bringing transparency had proved as mere ‘Jumlas’. And the most unfortunate aspect of the governance was non initiation of any action against the delinquent officers despite repeated public complaints, reminders and representatives made in the grievances cells created by the govt”, said Mr Harsh while addressing a press conference in Jammu today.

        Ridiculing the govt’s repeated statements of dismissing the ‘deadwood’ and ‘corrupt’, Mr Singh reiterated his demand asking the govt to explain what it actually meant by the said terms. While the inconvenient and uninfluential officers were being terminated, the most corrupt and non performing liabilities in the system were being given lucrative posting thus making a mockery of its tall claims. He maintained that Udhampur episode of PWD deptt was only a tip of the ice berg with several such instances occurring on regular basis in Ramnagar sub division of the said district with none to take cognizance of brazen loot and plunder of govt funds despite frequent public cries and clamours. Not only were the funds meant for public works siphoned but officers had deprived the bonafide beneficians of their legitimate claims and relief grants envisaged for them under various schemes.

     Pointing towards the non disbursement of house compensation to hundreds of farmers of Chenani, Dudu, Ramnagar and Ghordi blocks by the respective collectors for their residential units dismantled for construction of PMGSY roads 8-9 years back, Mr Singh said that it provided the most glaring example of official redrape, non performance and corruption besides contempt for the poor, indigent villagers. He said that despite funds having been placed at the disposal of District Collectors/SDMs by the PMGSY deptt 7-8 years back, the said collectors had withheld the said funds for extraneous considerations forcing the deprived farmers to lead a miserable life putting up in tents and sheds. He divulged that an RTI filed by him had revealed that funds for dozens of houses dismantled on the alignment of roads in Ghordi block alone had been released by PMGSY deptt in 2012 after proper assessment of the values but the SDM Ramnagar had failed to disburse the said compensation to the affected houseowners even after a lapse of 9 years. Likewise land compensation in respect of dozens of roads involving thousands of affected farmers been kept pending for several years and remained unpaid for years. Should the said officers not be enlisted as “Deadwood” for appropriate action in conformity with the govt’s tall sloganeering on the subject?, questioned Harsh. He said that the land compensation amount running in crores was reportedly being used to earn interest for years by the delinquent officers thus providing another glaring example of legalized corruption in the UT.

             Referring further to the unprecedented and unquantifiable pilferage of ration meant for the poor by the CAPD in Udhampur, Mr Singh said that no cognizance was being taken of the huge scams in the deptt despite repeated complaints. Hundreds of ration card holders were being deprived of their ration every month on one pretext or the other with the helmsmen appearing to have buried their heads in the sand. It is not the theft of ration which is so surprising, said Singh. The most intriguing aspect is the cold criminal silence of the higher authorities towards the brazen loot which seems to be executed in collusion. Forests were being plundered and huge smuggling of deodar trees was continuing unabated in Ramnagar Hungles with none to take notice. Seeking personal indulgence of the LG, Mr Singh said that if such incidents were allowed to go scot free, the govt would have to redefine the terms ‘deadwood’ and ‘corrupt’.

         The NPP leader further invited the attention of LG towards hundreds of hand pumps having become non operational in Chenani and Ramnagar constituency with ground water wing of Jal Shakti deptt refusing to operationalize them by taking the plea of empty coffers. He said that while people in rural and remote areas were forced to drink water from ponds and rivers, the Jal Shakti deptt in Udhampur had shut its eyes to the woes of public and completely abdicated its responsibility towards the people. Mr Parshotam Parihar state secretary and Surinder chauhan district president (rural) were also present in the press conference.