National Conference Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana today expressed grave concern and dismay over total neglect of Jammu region, especially its hilly and rural areas, in respect of development and implementation of various welfare schemes.
The people of Jammu were promised a state but got reduced as non-entity, only to play third fiddle after Kashmir and Ladakh in the Union Territories”, Mr Rana said while addressing workers’ meeting here at the conclusion of his two-day visit of Rajouri district along with senior National Conference leaders including Mr Ajay Kumar Sadhotra.
He lashed out at the self-proclaimed Messiahs for letting down and humiliating Jammu, saying their non-challant and callous attitude has led to complete neglect of the winter capital as also its peripheries like Poonch, Rajouri, Doda, Kathua and all other hilly and rural areas in the past four years.
He said the entire region is suffering from acute developmental and administrative inertia which has taken toll of various projects and implementation of welfare schemes. The region appears to be the last priority for the administration, which is reflected in dilapidated road network, non-functional utility services and paralyzed administrative structure, he said, adding that Jammu region had not anticipated all this even in wildest of dreams.
The Provincial President said that such a scenario is unacceptable to the people and called for restoring their honour and dignity. He sought holistic development of the region with focussed attention on hilly and rural areas, as these have completely been ignored during the past four years. He said the ongoing winter months particularly call for regulated power and drinking water facilities besides dependable road network for unhindered connectivity.
Mr Rana sought synergized efforts between various departmental agencies, especially those engaged in utility services, saying this is imperative in view of the magnitude of problems. He also sought perspective planning in hilly and border areas and ensuring time bound completion of works. He attributed lack of development to the unfortunate tendency of linking governance with politics in recent years and said public interest should always supersede political priorities and contingencies. He hoped the present administration to take up the lost thread of the National Conference led government and work towards ensuring overall development all over the region.
The Provincial President exhorted the cadre to intensify mass contact programme and reach out to the people in a big way for identifying their problems and seeking redressal. He said the cadre has to work towards bringing harmony in the society.
“Our agenda is to foster amity and bridge the gap between various sections of the society”, he said, adding that pluralistic ethos and inclusiveness is the greatest strength J&K. He stressed the need for strengthening the party, saying this will keep the cadre in good stead for facing all the challenges.
Speaking on the occasion, former minister Mr Ajay Kumar Sadhotra complimented the people for reposing their faith in the party, which has all along strived for their welfare and political empowerment
Mr Sadhotra referred to the problems faced to the people, especially the youth and called for initiating fast track recruitment process with thrust to filling up of all the vacancies in a time bound manner, keeping in view despondency gripping the unemployed educated. He also sought creation of job avenues for huge skilled and unskilled work force across the region.
Mr Sadhotra called for expeditious completion of the ongoing works to meet the deadline, saying delays generally lead to cost escalation and denial of timely benefits to targeted segments of population.
Senior leaders Mr Rattan Lal Gupta and Th Rachpal Singh, Provincial President Youth National Conference Mr Ajaz Jan besides Mr Bashir Ahmed Wani, Mr Muzaffar Khan, Choudhry Liaqat, Mr Shaffayat Khan, Mr Shafqat Mir, S. Nirman Singh and Choudhry Tauqeef also addressed the workers and highlighted the crucial role played by National Conference towards taking Jammu and Kashmir to heights of development and progress. They also dwelt upon the miseries of the border dwellers and regretted over pretty little being done in instilling sense of security among them. They called for expeditious completion of bunkers to ensure their safety during shelling from across the border.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mr Anil Dhar, Choudhry Haroon, Mr Pradeep Bali besides senior National Conference functionaries of Rajouri district.