Mool RajI would like to express my opinion on Back To Village Programme through the medium of your daily esteemed newspaper. B2V programme is merely eyewash that has failed in addressing and assessing the specific economic potential and needs of the villages. I am not against the Back To Village Programme but I want sustainable development for all the villagers. I think that the current B2V exercise was an illusionary exercise that has failed to enthuse people and give anticipated results. I think that B2V exercise far from taking administration to the doorsteps of people, disturbed district administration already working in the field. It is pertinent to mention here that there has been no follow up to earlier B2V exercises which has rendered this new phase of B2V a sheer mockery. Non-observersence of the official commitment in the previous two rounds of B2V is widening the trust deficit between people and officials. The absence of a robust redressal mechanism has therefore rendered the entire exercise ineffective. I think this exercise was being carried out to give a false impression that the Government was alive to the needs of common people while ground realities are something different as I saw during my duty in Panchayat Hambal-B as a Visiting Officer from October 5 -7, 2020 in Back To Village Third Phase. The prime objective of the exercise is to divert the attention from the real issues of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory. The common people continue to suffer on the account of administrative apathy, governance deficit and administrative inertia. Far from bridging the gap between people and Government, the B2V programme is sadly increasing the gulf between governed and those who are governing. People are being told to seek online appointments before visiting secretariat for the redressal of their problems when many don’t have access to the Internet and are not literate enough to access email. Where are such people supposed to go? Who is going to address their issues? The previous two rounds of B2V programme have not delivered encouraging results as execution of the majority of the identified infrastructure works in the first and second have been abysmally low. Not even a day passes when delegation after delegation from Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory visit different departments to narrate a grim tale of poor state of affairs in their villages, hamlets and towns. The Govt has miserably failed to uplift the rural economy of Jammu-Kashmir Union Territory and people have been suffering on the account of weather vagaries and successive clampdown and COVID-19 induced lock down since 2019. Horticulturists and people associated with other agricultural and allied activities have incurred heavy losses since August 5th last year and that the Government failed to provide effective recompense to them for ensuring agricultural activities. The farmers continue to suffer on account of soaring debts. The Government failed to stimulate the rural economy and augment agricultural and rural infrastructure. It has also disabled the farmers access to quality inputs, technology and markets by closing multi utility sale centres across Jammu-Kashmir Union Territory.I think that the Government in the Centre and J&K has created an atmosphere of mistrust among common people under the grab of the Back to Village Programme by weakening democracy at grass roots. The Government has only given big hype to the Back To Village Programme, as it is only an eye wash since no developmental works have been started by this programme in my Panchayat Hambal-B, Khellani Doda.Expressing resentment and very few people participated in the B2V3 programme since the previous B2V programme proved disastrous. It is pertinent to mention here that Sarpanchs and Panchs had pinned high hopes when the Back To Village programme was started in June 2019 but all their issues have not been addressed upto date. The two Back To Village programmes disturbed the entire machinery and the people. Without any follow up results, it was a joke with the people. Although for third Back to Village programme an amount of Rs 10 lakh has been announced bur it is to accommodate the ruling party workers especially in those Panchayat so where no election could be held for 13,000 seats. The Govt failed to create anti corruption body provided as per 7 3rd Amendment enforced in J&K.
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