Shiv Kumar Padha
Being a septuagenarian retired senior lecturer from school Education department turned into a social activist and a journalist, I would like to highlight some sensational facts and truths, about the chaos, anarchy and mismanagement prevailing in the entire UT. The main cause of this disarrangement in the governance is due to the rampant political, bureaucratic corruption being reared and nurtured in all the departments of the UT with impunity. It will not be an exaggeration if we call Jammu and Kashmir the most corrupt UT in the country where corruption rules the roost.According to the planning commission reports erstwhile Jammu and Kasmir state got 10 per cent share of the total central funds for 1 per cent population as compared to 8.2 per cent of central budget for UP with 13 per cent population of the country, the state with population of 12.55 million where every individual gets a share of Rs. 91,300 as compared to per person share of Rs. 4,300 in UP, the state which got 1.14 lakh crore over 16 years which is more than a quarter of the funds disbursed to 11 states enjoying special status in the country. The periods of corruption can be categorised as pre and post UT and pre and post COVID 19.Pre UT period: Since independence the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state was famous for its tourism and the all prevailing corruption in the country, while tourism was accorded the status of an Industry in the state, the corruption was considered unpunishable crime. As a result of absence of Ombudsman in the erstubils state and lack of transparency, credibility and accountability in the functioning of the governanc the politicians and the bureaucrats siphoned off exorbitant amount from the state exchequer. They made huge assets, disproportionate to their source of income, within and outside J&K. The posh colonies of the capital cities and the developed towns of the state are the witness where 90 percent of the property belongs to these politicians, bureaucrats and to those who occupied lucrative posts in the money yielding departments.The resolve, commitment and the slogans of the Prime Minister Narender Modi, ‘Na Khaoonga Na Khane Doonga’, providing transparent and corruption free governance, ensuring equitable and inclusive development, Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikas’, instilled life and confidence among people of Jammu and Kashmir. The people of Jammu region brought unprecedented victory for BJP by electing its 25 MLAs for Jammu and Kashmir Legislative assembly and paved the way for the formation of the BJP and PDP coalition government in the erstwhile state. They hoped that with formation of the government the state will usher in an era of transparency and honesty in the governance but as the ill-luck would have all hopes of the people collapsed soon like the pyramid of cards because the coalition government, instead of containing and curbing the menace of corruption became a part of it. Many political leaders, Ex MLAs and the ministers in the coalition government, instead of making liaison with the masses and bringing about development started minting money through transfers, promotions, back-door appointments employment commissions, in sales and purchases. Many Ex MLAs and ministers were found involved in cases of encroachments of the government land, Nallas and gorges.The corruption is rampant in the entire hierarchy of the government. Where on the one hand politicians, ministers and the bureaucrats are hands in glove with each other, the tables in the offices of different departments have been converted into individual shops where the files remain glued to tables unless the silver key is used. Corruption has taken the place as an industry in J&K is flourishing under the patronage of ministers and bureaucrats brazenly. The transfers of the government employees are not made according to requirements but on bases of the highest bid.
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