Roads in Shambles, Government in Slumber: NC



National-ConferenceNational Conference Saturday condemned the laid-back and non-serious approach of the State Government in getting the road infrastructure of the State back on track.

Highlighting the recent letter written by the Central Government to the State Government expressing strong displeasure over the State Govt’s failure to use a PMGSY grant of 157 crores intended for development of rural roads, NC spokesman Junaid Mattu said this revelation had yet again in quick succession exposed the incompetence and non-seriousness of the State Government led by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

“The fact that the Central Government has threatened the State Government to stop funding under PMGSY is not only an example of PDP’s and BJP’s criminal negligence in dispensing the basic duties of governance but also underlines the utter incompetence of the incumbent State Government in utilizing vital development schemes that should have been rather fast tracked to help rebuild public infrastructure post September Floods,” Mattu said in a statement issued from NC Headquarters in Srinagar.

“These recurring failures of the State’s Finance Ministry to cope with its most basic duties have jeopardized the State’s interests. We were made to believe, incidentally by the new Finance Minister himself that the new Finance Minister was God’s gift to economics and would turn the whole system around within 45 days. Tragically fact is that it has been way more than those 45 days and he has managed to turn the whole system around by rendering it completely dysfunctional. There is absolutely no coordination between the Finance Minister and other Ministries as the State continues to be plunged into a governance and infrastructure deficit.”

The MoS PMO in the Central Government, he said, has recently said that funds are being provided to the State Government as demanded – which fits into this revelation that the State’s Finance Ministry is too obsessed with itself to consider the immediate and long-term funding requirements of the State – and too busy in senseless tours to follow up on vital funding schemes.

“The much anticipated visit of the RBI Governor was also a damp squib as no schemes or relaxations were announced for the flood victims and the State as a whole. This Government, especially its entire Ministry of Finance is practically comatose – and that is in stark contrast to their moral sermonizing and nice-sounding economic theories before elections”, NC Spokesman Junaid Mattu said.

The NC spokesman expressed disappointment on behalf of his party at the failure of the State Government in rebuilding and reconstructing the State’s road infrastructure that was affected in floods that ravaged the State in September.

“Every passing day of the summer season that goes without our roads being repaired, reconstructed and macadamized is a criminal waste of time and money. Climatically, the State gets a limited period of a few months every year with weather conducive for road-laying and macadamization before the cold weather sets in. We are already in the month of June and till now there is absolutely no sign of the Government getting its act together and bothering to focus attention on the shocking condition of our urban as well as rural roads,” the NC spokesman said.

“While urban roads are barely motorable and continue to pose unimaginable inconvenience to thousands of urban commuters every single day, the condition of most rural roads is equally deplorable. These funds to the tune of 157 crores that had been granted under the PMGSY and were intended for J&K Rural Roads Development Agency (JKRRDA),” he said.

“Once dispensed to JKRRDA, these funds could have been immediately allocated for conducting restoration of various vital and arterial rural road networks in the State. However, since the State Government is in complete slumber and has failed to transfer these funds to JKRRDA as instructed by the Central Government and since the Finance Ministry has practically ceased to exist, there is now a huge question mark on the entire PMGSY funding to the State in the coming future – and that is worrisome,” Mattu added.

The NC spokesman while blaming Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for failing to appreciate the post-flood infrastructure deficit in the State said such an approach would have a disastrous effect on the State’s economy. “Our businesses are suffering because of the shocking condition of our public infrastructure. There is an unprecedented drinking-water shortage in the State. Manufacturing units are in grave distress. Our horticulturists and artisans have been neglected in the post-flood phase and all we get to see is the Chief Minister with his Finance Minister in tow going on joyrides in the State chopper without anything substantive to offer on these visits. The State Government is testing the patience of the people,” he said.

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