Crores spent on paper for development without any master plan for Poonch and Rajouri districts
POONCH TODAY NEWS
POONCH/RAJOURI: IAS/KAS Deputy commissioners, officers of various departments, elected legislatures and civil societies of both the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch never pressed for making a master plan for Poonch and Rajouri cities and whatever development was ensured on the ground, that was purely without any proper planning. Lack of visionary officers and visionary leadership is responsible for step motherly treatment given as both the high profile cities of Poonch and Rajouri have almost become a jungle. In Poonch city, there is no circular road for ease of traffic. Only the main road in the heart of the city has a huge traffic load and it’s not possible for a common man to walk with ease. Thousands of kanals of agricultural lands have been converted into commercial land and big business establishments have come up without any planning. Encroachment of govt lands and building is yet another administrative disaster. Govt Khulls, canals and state land river beds have been encroached but administration never took action against those who are involved in such acts. No proper planning was made from successive administrations in both the border districts. The main motto of every Deputy Commissioner was to form an annual plan and to complete all those works without any planning. Poonch and Rajouri district always remained at the receiving end when it comes to development. Visionless legislators over the years in both the districts failed to develop various areas falling under Municipal councils and Municipal committees. Biggest shocking factor is that Poonch Municipality is one of the oldest Municipality in J&K state with rich history but after post 1947 episodes, the darkest period in Poonch history from development point of view started and now after seven decades, Poonch city has become a jungle and is without any master plan although many attempts were made for master plan but only in paper. In the last two decades, many illegal constrictions came into existence, encroachment of Poonch bazaar, poor drainage system to name a few. In January 2017, the issue of master plan for Poonch city was raised by MLC Yashpaul Sharma in Legislative council and in response to the query raised by Yashpaul, the then Minister for Tourism Priya Sethi said, “the Draft Master Plan for Poonch Town will be reviewed after fresh survey of the area by the Feedback agency because due to flash floods of September 2014, the major chunk of land which was incorporated in the Master Plan got eroded and it became necessary to resurvey the area. As soon as the survey is completed and the final Draft Master Plan is approved, the process would be started for its implementation”. This statement was made in January 2017 and even nearly five years after that statement, nothing has been done so far. Government is spending huge funds, but unfortunately without any planning. Poonch and Rajouri districts need development based on a master plan else spending taxpayer’s money without any proper planning even in several crores would be useless. For future requirements in both Poonch and Rajouri districts, a master plan has become a dire necessity but self-styled intelligent bureaucrats never worked on this aspect. Is earning commission their sole motto?