Development jeopardy

Published at November 27, 2018 12:22 AM 0Comment(s)3807views


Development jeopardy

Ahead of previous assembly elections and at that time in the campaigning mode to grab votes, political parties, including Bharatiya Janata Party and Peoples Democratic Party, said if voted to power their core agenda in the state would be development. With the fractured mandate, it became an obligation – to focus on development that was seen as apolitical, instead of raking up political controversies. The view of the regional party (PDP) was that if they won’t join hands with BJP, which was at helm in the union, the state won’t get needed financial support to drive the promised development, flood relief being the immediate demand. Refusing to join could have meant political vendetta, but joining too has been nothing less than political suicide. Now that the development in the state is defocused, people of the state wonder what is going to happen in the case of completion of bridges and building of roads. Surprisingly, it hardly made any difference, and quite opposed to general belief, the work on projects never stopped, be it during popular government or during Governor’s administration. However, the progress has been slow and gradual, and mostly because of the administration. Even after failing several deadlines, Rambagh-Jahangir Chowk Flyover in Srinagar finally saw traffic ply over it. For the sake of argument, the project was funded by World Bank, just like Jhelum and Tawi Flood Recovery Project, which won’t have been put on hold had PDP not entered into an alliance with BJP. Same goes for all other projects. Development can be used as poll plank, but the establishments reckon it to be outside politics. Besides, it is the policies of the state government than central government’s assistance that matter most for the socio-economic long jump. But consider how the state has fared despite there being no paucity of funds. After spending crores of rupees, projects are not completed even though the construction work has been going on for past many years. Forget the big projects, the authorities fail to keep deadlines even on routine developmental works. Ministers do rounds for a PR exercise, same as administration officials. It doesn’t seem to have any impact on the progress of the projects, most of them take years to complete after set deadlines. The state goes for elections, has ministers and alliances that secure the investment, ministers and administrators take stock of situation with their high level meetings and surprise visits – yet the work is completed when it is completed – late.

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