With good road connectivity, schools, and health institutions, majority of villages in J&K are still enjoying RBA status; Exercise started to change existing RBA areas
POONCH TODAY NEWS
POONCH: The successive governments in the erstwhile state of J&K brought many underdeveloped areas under RBA. Even those areas that had all these facilities like roads, factories, healthcare, and schools were also brought under the RBA for political gains by powerful political leaders belonging to some J&K-based political parties that enjoyed power for decades.
Previously, 18% of the area in J&K was declared RBA in 1995, and the government in J&K reserved 20% of the area based on the recommendation. A condition was also added in the report that the government will check the status of development in RBA areas once every five years, but after the passing of nearly three decades, no effort was made due to political compulsion to review the status of RBA areas from the development point of view. The RBA’s reservation was brought down to 10 percent in 2020. It was a complete debacle on the part of various political parties that ruled J&K for years, as no effort was made to review the status of RBA areas after every five years, and it shows how some people with political connections enjoyed RBA out of the way for decades and managed to reach top positions on the basis of RBA. It is important to mention here that many RBA areas have been developed on account of road connectivity, educational infrastructure, and primary health care institutions, which are basic criteria for the inclusion of villages in RBAs, but political governments, for their vote bank, have never touched this area. Now the government has started an exercise to identify those areas of RBA that have been developed, and more than 50% of areas that are currently under RBA are likely to lose their RBA status, while those areas that still lack development may be included in the near future, according to a source close to “POONCH TODAY” in the Civil Secretariat, Jammu. The Justice G.D. Sharma commission, after recommending reservation for the Pahari ethnic tribe, Paddari tribe, Koli and Gadda Brahmins, and Valmikis, has started a massive exercise to modify the existing list of RBA areas, and it is highly likely that more than 50% of areas will lose their RBA status, as it has been seen that for more than two decades, political governments deliberately avoided this area, eyeing pleasing their vote bank. “The same type of audit exercise for other categories is needed, as only deserving people should be given benefits under various categories”, feel prominent educationists.