R-DAY MESSAGE | Calls for strong fight against corruption to ensure good governance
Jammu, Jan 25: J&K Governor NN Vohra on Tuesday hinted that the new government in the state would be in place “very soon.”
In his R-day message, circulated by Raj Bhavan here, Vohra said after the successful conduct of “visibly free and fair assembly elections, I believe that the people’s mandate shall very soon lead to the installation of the next government.”
Referring to imposition of Governor’s rule in J&K, Vohra hoped that “the present spell of governance under my charge will soon come to an end when the elected representatives will form the government and take over the responsibility of running the affairs of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Referring to the Assembly elections, the Governor said “notwithstanding their sufferings and varied threats, this election witnessed a voter turnout of an unprecedented high level which confirmed, yet again, the peoples’ deeply rooted trust in the democratic process.”
Vohra said “serious gaps” in the governance apparatus, particularly those related to the functioning of the public delivery systems, “must be remedied without any loss of time whatsoever.”
“Stern measures need to be taken to eradicate all dishonest elements from public services and ensure that key positions are assigned only to functionaries with proven integrity and competence,” he said. “The menace of corruption and
unaccountability, which has permeated all levels of functioning, shall need to be fought and eradicated with unflinching determination. Urgent steps also need to be taken for restoring the integrity of all public institutions, particularly those which are the watchdogs of governance.”
Vohra stressed that the Right to Information Act must be implemented even more vigorously to enable empowerment of people. “The State Accountability Commission and the State Vigilance Commission must be particularly enabled to function without any hindrance,” he said.
Referring to the devastating September floods in J&K, Vohra said as per governmental assessments about 15 lakh families were adversely affected by the deluge, which caused enormous damage to roads, bridges, and water, power and health systems.
The Governor said rescue operations launched by the administration were “very strongly supported” by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Army. “The Air Force evacuated over 15,000 flood affected persons and carried out hundreds of sorties for air dropping packets of water, food, medical and other essential supplies. In the rescue operations, invaluable help was provided by the local youth, representatives of the civil society organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations from within the State and elsewhere in the country,” he said.
The Governor said on the very day the floods engulfed the whole of Srinagar city, the Prime Minister visited Jammu and Srinagar and announced a Special Plan Assistance of Rs 1000 crore for reconstruction of public infrastructure. “After the floods receded, the State government assessed the total loss on all fronts and forwarded a comprehensive report to the Government of India, which is being pursued for a very early decision,” he said.
He said close attention is being paid to ensure that the corpus of Rs 1191 crore, available under the State Disaster Response Fund, is fully utilised and the relief distribution work is completed very early.
The Governor observed that “because of the consistently negative trans-border factors and recurring challenges to the maintenance of peace and normalcy, Jammu and Kashmir has continued to face varied hurdles in maintaining the required pace for securing its growth and developmental goals.”
“Maintenance of peace and public order are imperative for securing sustained growth and development. It is a matter for serious concern that the past year witnessed repeated violations of the Ceasefire Agreement and continuing attempts at infiltration across the International Border and the Line of Control. In the Jammu region, there were two militant attacks across the IB last year. The repeated instances of unprovoked heavy firing from across the border caused loss of innocent lives and damage to the properties of those who are living in the villages along the border,” he said.
The Governor said, “I take this opportunity to salute the State and Central Armed Police Forces and the Army for their uncompromising commitment and devotion to duty.”