Finally governance matters

Why do people feel that this governor rule is better in terms of administering the state

The State of Jammu and Kashmir has once again come under Governor’s  rule. The people in general have welcomed its imposition heaving a sigh of relief for the absence of a democratic elected government. The Governor N.N.Vohra’s tenure as governor on previous occasions was marked for efficient governance, accountability of officers ,fast tracking developmental projects and resolution of long pending issues through quick  administrative decisions.

In Kashmir the relationship between mainstream political parties and the people has immensely dwindled whereas in Jammu and Ladakh too the political leaders are not trusted for they not only speak different languages at different times but also do so in different regions. The dismal performance of political leaders adds to their disenchantment with the political parties. There is also growing belief in people that New Delhi is not sincere in their Kashmir centric policies and are only interested in pushing their agenda through Abdullah and Mufti families who have ruled Kashmir most of the time during last four decades and in the process did not allow other leaders to grow and carve out a place for themselves.

It is in this background that the people of the State generally welcomed the promulgation of Governors Rule though such a step in any other State would have been become a matter of concern. The Governor in a short time has taken many path-breaking and progressive steps. It has restructured the administrative set-up, done away with administrative inertia and fast tracked developmental projects.

The State Advisory Committee headed by the Governor, in its short tenure, has taken some crucial decisions like according approval to AIIMS at Jammu, Ring Road Srinagar, PMGSY projects, laying of 132 KV Transmission from Reasi, clearing 40 projects for development activities, drinking water, road, transmission and hydropower sectors, detaching the attached officers and repatriation of teachers to their parent districts. The Governor has also taken keen interest and held a series of meetings on considering the ways and means of conservation of fast depleting Natural Resources and fast tracking approval of Master Plan-2035 which has been gathering dust for the past 14 months since being put in public domain. The Governor directed the authorities to call stakeholders to know their views on the Master Plan which the concerned authorities arrogantly had refused to do earlier despite demands from environmentalists and other civil society groups. In public health sector also the Governor ordered the implementation of many schemes which the previous Government had put in the cold storage. These vital administrative decisions benefited lacs of people. The tourism, industrial and handicrafts sectors also witnessed effective intervention. The administration has been rejuvenated and revitalized by effecting transfers and putting right person in the right place. Most importantly public grievances are being heard and addressed providing relief to thousands of citizens. A Government in command and a responsive administration is there for all to see which has made a huge difference in people’s day to day lives. The LOC trade has also been streamlined with the improvement in operation and systems put in place. The policy paralysis and stagnancy at LOC Trade points has also been addressed.

In contrast the anti-people measures, absence of effective governance, lackadaisical administration, non-action on issues of public importance, rampant corruption, infighting among the coalition partners, accusations against ministerial colleagues, political and ideological bickering, imposing GST by deceit, killing of more than a hundred people during 2016 protests were the high points of PDP-BJP coalition Government. If that was not enough, worst instances of nepotism, favoritism and appeasement was order of the day. Moreover, Ill-reputed, inefficient and known corrupt officials were given sensitive postings who were instrumental in destroying institutions they were duty bound to protect. 

Despite the fact that Kashmir continues to remain an unresolved conflict since 1947 when India and Pakistan became two independent sovereign nations, the people judge the performance of various Governments. In this respect the rule of the incumbent Governor is welcome by a large section of people. The Governance is efficient and transparent. Many long pending administrative issues waiting resolution for years and decades have been resolved. Deadlines for implementation of SAC decisions are set and implementation monitored. The wheeler-dealer, commission agents and brokers are gone from the corridors of power. The large crowds of youth usually found outside ministers’ houses falsely promised government jobs is missing though a large number of vacancies in Government Departments are being filled up fast to provide relief to the deserving and meritorious applicants. Most important is also Governor Vohra’s public statement about the lack of sustained policy for the power generation in the state despite huge potential. His statement on the untapped contribution of horticulture (35000 Crores) and lament for lack of policy and planning to achieve it has earned admiration for him amongst the people. May be it is these statements that have not gone down well with powers that be  and there is a talk of a new Governor taking over in a few weeks. It is important to note that the governance during Vohra’s tenures has e been widely appreciated and he will be long remembered for his administrative acumen.