People across J&K facing hardships on account of utility services: Bhalla

Former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla on Saturday demanded special package for compensation to Paddy growing farmers for their for destroyed crop due to rain & hail storm in Jammu region. This was stated by Bhalla while interacting with farmer’s delegation from Gandhi Nagar constituency. The farming community in RS Pura have to face unfavourable climatic conditions of rain and hail storm and crop get ruined which made them live from hand to mouth. He demanded special package for Basmati growing farmers so that their unfortunate loss will recover and they would again be able to grow and cultivate their crop.Bhalla while listening to the grievances of the people told that BJP government has no concern for the farmers and the same is clear from the fact that despite repeated representations and even direct talks with concerned officials, no effective steps has been ever taken to resolve the problems of the farmers.They said that under BJP rule witnessed massive protests, road blockades, dharnas by the farmers in large numbers in different parts of Jammu province and every time only hollow promises were made to pacify the agitating farmers. Whatever was committed or assured by the government was never fulfilled, which is a cruel joke with these people. They expressed their anguish over the destruction of Basmati (Paddy crop) due to hailstorms and rains resulting into 100% loss of ready produce.They further stated that the Govt had promised to double their input costs of crops but the rates fixed for the purchase of paddy are less than their input cost. They alleged that the Govt has not provided any purchase centre in R S Pura and no Government authority has visited to estimate the losses for compensation. There is great resentment amongst the farmers. The farmers have appealed the Lieutenant Governor that district authorities’ and other officers be directed to assess the damaged crop of the farmers and they be given appropriate compensation and loan waiver.

Bhalla  maintained  that the government policies resulted in increasing inputs cost and lack of remuneration prices along with natural calamities have made the agriculture a loss – making venture consequently putting the lives of peasants, agriculture workers and artisan in serious distress. He said keeping in view all this , Congress party organising the “Bharat Bachao Rally” at the Ramlila Maidan, which aims to hit out at the BJP-led Modi government over several issues of ‘sluggish economy’, rising unemployment, farmers’ problems, etc. Apart from highlighting issues like economy, unemployment rate and farmer crisis, Congress has sent a strong message against the Modi-led government at the center .He  said that patience of the peace loving people of Jammu region, especially youth has been running out because during the last nearly six years this region has been ignored in all spheres of life.He  said that BJP leadership is answerable to the people of Jammu who had voted over-whelming in favour of BJP in 2014 & 2019 Lok Sabha   election with a hope that party would fulfill its promises. Former Minister   alleged that the BJP has no concern with the development of the Jammu and the party considers people of Jammu as a mere voting machine for it.He  said that people of Jammu were feeling themselves cheated by the BJP, which had made numerous promises to them failed miserably to fulfill the same after coming to power.No development work is presently undergoing in the Jammu and development works undertaken by the previous Government have come to stand still.

Despite persistent appeals to the Government to ensure supply of basic amenities, no action has been taken. People are suffering, but there is no consolation from the Government,” Bhalla added. He said lack of direction and political will have compounded the perception of political uncertainty in the state whereas the Government should have tried to provide a hope of inclusive development, reconciliation and peace. The former Minister said   Government rather than engaging with aggrieved people with an aim to address their issues, had chosen to tread a path of isolation, arrogance and confrontation contradicting the promises made before elections.While accusing BJP government of having failed to address the problems of the people, Bhalla said,”Since BJP formed Govt  the miseries of the people of Jammu and Kashmir have increased manifolds. “More than one year has passed but they have failed to fulfill any of the promises, be it the problems faced by the border residents, be it the problems faced by the farmers, be it the problems of refugees and Kashmiri Pandits, this government has done nothing to address those problems,” Bhalla added.The former Minister blamed the Govt for pushing Jammu and Kashmir into developmental inertia with utility services in disarray as a result of which the people are suffering on account of power and drinking water besides irregular supply of ration. “The mis-governance has taken toll on every sector and the people are suffering on account of basic minimum needs,” he said.

Bhalla termed it most unfortunate that the common people have no medium to raise their voice for their basic necessities like water, power, healthcare and education due to the neglect of Govt. The people have to come on roads to express their anger and seek redressal of their genuine grievances. The utter failure of BJP  which had the mandate of Jammu region since 2014 to carry forward the projects initiated by the previous Govt both at State and Centre and to upgrade the infrastructure and augment various supply schemes, have resulted into total mess and several projects either standstill or going on snail’s paces, causing great loss to Jammu region and adding hardships to the people on various fronts. Tall, stentorian promises of ‘ache din’ have amounted to ‘Ache Din’ for a chosen few in terms of their personal welfare while common people have been left to fend for themselves by a brazenly insensitive and callous dispensation. The former Minister said that development has been pushed to back burner while public grievances were mounting unheard with each passing day.Bhalla  said that disillusionment of people with the government is growing, as governance is at the lowest depth and development has taken nose dive in the past over six years.“People are realising the futility of electing a government that is not only insensitive towards their problems but also responsible in adding to these on every front”, he said. He said Congress is the only destination for those who want peace to sustain and development to remain focused agenda of the government in J&K. He said the initiatives taken in this regard by Congress governments especially the previous one has been negated by the present anti-people dispensation.