Former minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla today said that without political will, the DDB meetings are meaningless.
In a press note issued here, Bhalla said that district boards were meant to formulate and analyze the plan and non plan budget and lay down the policy guidelines for the block development councils and Panchayats and coordinate poverty and employment generation, but unfortunately there has been hardly any serious effort from the government to financially empower these boards.
Bhalla was reacting over hastily conducted Districts Development Board (DDB) meetings.
"It is unfortunate that district allocations are so insignificant that these important institutions have been rendered futile", he said.
"One fails to understand that what the members of these boards are supposed to decide about when the allocations are so meager and the decisions taken are not implemented?" he asked.
Referring to the decisions taken in the DDB meetings in 2015 across the state held under the chairmanship of the then Chief Minister, Bhalla said that the action taken report on these decisions is quite disappointing. He said many important decisions taken in the Board meetings are not implemented and that is why the developmental schemes do not reach to the people on ground.
"There is no doubt that most of the times many important decisions on development of districts are taken in these meetings, but the lack of a proper follow-up restrict these decisions to mere paper work," he said.
"Projects undertaken under various schemes like MGNREGA, IAY and PMGSY were not completed in stipulated time and financial targets proposed in these meetings could not yield the desired results," he said.
Bhalla observed that plans placed before the Boards with tremendous hike in allocations are not actually meant for developmental works. The major portion of these allocations being the Central share for flagship programmes like SSA, RMSA, Mid-Day Meals, Nutrition with meager allocations to major sectors like R&B, PHE, Irrigation, Elementary/Secondary education, agriculture & allied activities etc.
"Instead of empowering these institutions by way of giving adequate powers and keeping sufficient funds at their disposal, government preferred to ignore the decisions taken by these boards", the former minister regretted.
Meanwhile, expressing concern over the killing of three policemen in Srinagar in a militant attack, former minister urged Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti-led government to move quickly to reassure residents and visitors of Srinagar.
"The attacks on policemen in Srinagar are a worrying development. The government needs to move quickly to reassure residents of Srinagar and visitors," he said.