President Municipal Council Poonch admits failure during the first two years; Funds shortage, poor administration cooperation major concerns
(POONCH TODAY NEWS)
POONCH: On 1st October 2018, “POONCH TODAY” published a story with the title, “Should people expect “Blue Moon” from the next Municipality?” in which it was described in detail that people of Poonch should not expect “Blue Moon” because majority of contesting candidates have no experience of initiating developmental activities and the facts projected by this newspaper proved 100% true as few days back, during an interview with a local reporter, President Municipal Council Poonch, candidly admitted that he has failed to carry on developmental works because of shortage of funds and poor cooperation from administration.
He outrightly said that people were expecting something big from him, but due to shortage of funds, he was unable to start developmental activities in all the wards. He also said that few Contactors played mischievous role by applying for tenders with very low rate with hidden agenda of stalling developmental projects. Even during the visit of an officer of Commissioner / Secretary rank last month, President had a scuffle with Deputy Commissioner Poonch over an issue of encroachment of Municipal land near Poonch fort and also questioned how two demarcations were done and alleged malafide intentions of those revenue officials who gave different reports during two inspections. President also demanded an inquiry from administration by saying that the land near Poonch fort belongs to Municipality as first commission constituted four years ago also said the same, but later, a new commission constituted after few years with doubtful intentions and that commission gave its report against Municipality by saying that the land doesn’t belong to Municipality. President also said that during anti encroachment drive carried out near bus stand, administration did not cooperate with him and this statement of President is full of logic as it’s a truthful fact, during that anti encroachment drive, Poonch Police played a negative role, reportedly due to hand in glove influence of encroachers with few Police officials, behind the curtains, and this backdoor act and poor response from administration foiled the attempt of Municipality in carrying out the drive successfully. Even encroachers lodged FIR against few councillors and staff members of Municipality. Now, there is another side of the story. From the last two years, President was unable to take action against growing encroachment of market space, right from post office to Parade chowk and from Hathi than bazaar to bus stand chowk via Poonch fort. Majority of shopkeepers have covered 30% of market area, but President never issued strict orders on the issue, the failure of which has allowed the people of Poonch city to suffer huge inconvenience regularly. For starting this drive in the market, President needs no funds and he should not shift blame every time on shortage of funds to hide his political compulsions to carry on such acts, because this Municipality was formed by coming together of two groups of different ideologies and this may be the reason why President hesitates to start such drives. In that interview, President also said that he has submitted a DPR of a project for the renovation of Talab which will help in cleanliness of whole Poonch city once the project of water coming towards talab from Bagial dara area starts. On what logic, President has said this. Yes, the water from same talab was regularly used about thirty to thirty five years back for cleanliness purpose in various lanes and drains, but not in entire Poonch city and the population of Poonch town was also low. In the last two decades, Poonch city has expanded and it’s not possible for that water from talab to clean all city areas and President needs not to give bogus logic. On the issue of covering of UEED nallahs, he was right that during rainy season, water comes out of all these nallahs due to the presence of slit and a big project is needed to solve the issue. But the question arises how such unplanned UEED projects of covering nallahs were allowed to take place by Municipal council just to satisfy the interest of few people at the cost of interest of the whole Poonch city. A high level vigilance inquiry is needed to detect this fraud of UEED which is likely to be in several crores. On the issue of sewerage system, President also trying to score political points, because as per the version of a retired engineer, sewerage system in entire Poonch city is almost difficult because of different shapes of city land. On the issue of poor cooperation from administration, President needs to learn some administrative qualities to settle difference of opinion between Municipal council and district administration, because over and above, interest of the Poonch city is supreme and not unnecessarily war of words with self-importance. So, if Municipal council wants to ensure developmental activities in all the wards, President needs to have all round administrative qualities to form good relations with different stakeholders and it will ultimately helps in ensuring developmental activities in all wards. One more shocking factor is there as during his first two years, President never took action on poor quality tiling works within the municipal limits of Poonch city, which were executed without any plan and by violating all rules and payments of such works were released by BDO Poonch by violating all the norms with the involvement of few leaders. Now the question arises why President Municipal council allowed such works to take place on the ground. Moreover, an influential person near bus stand has blocked a link road which can be used for passing of light vehicles, but why President never thought of taking action against such people who are using government land for personal use, thereby denying vehicles to use that very link road. People participated in Municipal election with a hope that Municipal council will solve their grievances, but after passing of nearly two years, the expectations of people have come down to the ground and statement of President Municipal council to a local channel that he has not come up to the expectations of the people during the last two years due to shortage of funds and poor cooperation from administration has established this fact. Very poor state of affairs of Poonch Municipality was also due to a factor, because in the political tussle between two political groups of Poonch city, the working of Municipality has suffered as arrogance was proving heavy over wisdom and ultimately, this led leading towards continuous sufferings of people on various issues. President is also known for candid work culture, but only sincerity doesn’t serve any purpose, if one fails to ensure developmental activities and failure to ensure regular actions against encroachers, who have taken everything for granted, shows that lack of administrative experience and some political compulsions might be the reason of this inaction from President, because few councillors, who supported President, in forming Municipality were from national conference. It would be better if President starts working on merit rather than giving preference to political interest and some compulsions, because over and above, development of Poonch city is important and not any political group. Due to inaction from Municipal council, Poonch city has become a jungle and it needs immediate planned attention from development point of view. For running any institution, administrative qualities are must and absence of it will only ruin the institution and aspirations of the people and Municipal council needs to understand this fact clearly. Although, it’s an established fact that Poonch legislators always remained visionless, but in choosing between the bigger and lesser evil, people are compelled to chose the lesser evil, because of having no other option of a strong and visionary leadership. People want development on the ground and government should provide more funds to Poonch Municipality as Poonch was a historic state and this Municipality was the oldest Municipality in J&K after Jammu and Srinagar. President Municipal council Advocate Sunil Sharma was right when he said that he had projected Rs 50 lakhs each for all wards for ensuring development activities, but spending money in crores without any planning would serve no purpose. A team of government officers must visit Poonch and formulate a master plan for Poonch city, else it would be like throwing tax payers money into river because people know very well about the credibility of Poonch leadership who are only blessed with a vision of Tanki Bathroom, Lanes, Dranes, R/wall and Transformer. They cannot think beyond that. Immediate and well deserved attention of government is needed towards Poonch Municipal council and all the issues projected by President must be addressed on the ground by UT and Union governments.