GK Editorial|Tough Decisions Needed

There is something amiss somewhere in the state administration that has taken toll of the development in the state. Instead of pleading for more funds from the Central Government, Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in the entire country that has been continuously failing to utilise the allocated funds under various centrally sponsored schemes and state schemes, even in crucial sectors like education and healthcare. That hundreds of crores allocated to the state under various centrally sponsored schemes remain unspent has come to the fore many times. So holds right about funds allocated under the state budgets. Lack of accountability at multiple tiers of administration is one of the primary reasons for this apathy of the officials towards the much-needed development of the state. Five years after the 2014 deluge, the state health department has failed to utilise one hundred forty crores received from the World Bank for the reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure of various hospitals.

Notwithstanding, the concerned organisations having declared damaged buildings unsafe the state has not spent even a penny for demolishing of the unsafe buildings, and on their reconstruction. Equally, a lot of equipment damaged by the flood is yet to be restored. Many vital facilities lost in the floods, five years after, to the disadvantage of scores of the patient have not been installed in the main hospitals. From the funds received from the World Bank, a new building was to be built at the Bone and Joint Hospital while a new building was to be constructed at Lal Ded Hospital with modern multi-stage labour suites. Although the proposal for these facilities was approved long back, work is yet to start. This delay in the execution of the jobs in the health sector, despite the availability of funds, is criminal negligence of the officers. Non-utilization the funds received from the World Bank by the health department is not an isolated thing; many other departments suffer this inefficiency and incompetence. That a whopping Rs 600 crore funding allocated to the school education department under different central schemes has remained unspent for past many years had come to light last year. Such news reports are galore for many other departments. For ensuring proper and full utilisation of the allocated funds within, there is need for disciplining of the negligent officers. And for this the government will have to take tough decisions.