SRINAGAR: Expressing grave concern over the perpetual power and drinking water crisis in Jammu, especially during the summer months, Former Minister and Senior National Conference Leader Mr Ajay Kumar Sadhotra today called for devising a holistic approach and management plan to meet the crisis like situations that keep disrupting normal life time and again, while interacting with youth at Lakad Mandi Janipur Jammu.
National Conference Leader alleged that BJP Government has utterly failed to provide drinking water and power to Jammu Kashmir especially in Jammu Municipal Corporation areas like Lakad Mandi, Janipur, Roop Nagar, Paloura, Muthi, Bantalab, Chinore, Barnai, Patolli. The people are getting drinking water after four five days and also facing unprecented and unscheduled power cuts in this scorching heat. It is unfortunate people are facing hardships and there is no body who listen to them.
Sadhotra said that short-term and adhoc strategies were not enough to overcome the problem and the government must come up with a pragmatic plan for tackling the issues, put this in public domain, seek suggestions of stakeholders and implement it on war footing basis, as these basic utility services were of paramount importance for the people.
In fact, he said, the power and drinking water schemes should have formed the core of the much hyped Smart City project which was launched with eloquent fanfare amid BJP painting a rosy picture about everything in the city getting smarter. How the most visited city can pretend to be smarter when plunging in darkness during nights and citizens being forced to sweat in scorching summer days due to frequent and long spell power cuts and curtailments besides drinking water scarcity looming large, he asked.
The Former Minister said that the power and drinking water irritants are more pronounced and frequent in the semi urban and rural areas of the Jammu region, which has not been addressed thus far. He hoped that these basic utility services will get priority attention of the government for earnest redressal.
Referring to the Smart City Project, Sadhotra criticised the government for its lackadaisical approach in its implementation, saying that Jammu can be anything but a Smart City. The ground situation betrays the tall claims of the administration as the lack of vision and will has taken toll of the project, rendering it complete failure. Given its slow pace, the project appears to end up as a dream for the people of Jammu, he added.
“Delay in the execution of the project is yet another indicator and glaring example of the so-called good governance of the past eight years,” Sadhotra said, adding that the BJP can fool the people once or twice but not all the time. He said administrative inertia and lack of accountability has been the hallmark of the good governance mantra of the BJP.
Sadhottra urged the administration to take effective measures and to strengthen the monitoring mechanism for time bound completion of the project, not only to prevent the cost overruns but also to ensure timely percolation of the benefits of various schemes to the targeted segments of people. He also called for close synergy and cooperation between the line departments so that the people are put to minimum conveniences while executing various works.
Expressing concern over poor civic amenities, the former minister said the Jammu Municipal Corporation has a bounden duty of maintaining health and hygiene as the temple city is thronged by thousands of pilgrims 24 X 7 X 365 to pay obeisance at the holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi. The city cannot afford garbage dens which serve as breeding grounds for stray cattle and the various health hazards.
Sadhotra feared the situation getting further worsened in the upcoming monsoon and sought an advanced action plan by the government based on the experiences of the previous years. He said the concerned agencies should be geared up for meeting the situation that may arise due to water logging, choked drains and construction works under the Smart City Project in various parts of Jammu.
The former minister also stressed the need for putting in place area-wise grievance redressal mechanisms in various service-providing departments locally for people to register their problems for early redressal.
Others who spoke on the occasion are Raghubir Singh District President, Ghar Singh Corporator, Charan Dass Bhagat, Gurnam Singh, Vicky Singh Jamwal, Tanvir Singh, Dr Vikas Sharma, Rakesh Kumar Sharma, Ankush Abrol.