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Posted at: Oct 3, 2018, 12:40 AM; last updated: Oct 3, 2018, 1:01 PM (IST)

Baramulla suffers as 3 legislators ‘divert’ funds to native villages

Baramulla suffers as 3 legislators ‘divert’ funds to native villages
An aerial view of Baramulla town and the district headquarters. A Tribune photo

Samaan Lateef

Tribune News Service

Baramulla, October 2

Infrastructure projects worth crores of rupees have either been shelved or left incomplete in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, showing the neglect the area is facing.

From health institutions to bridges and roads, the district has not seen the execution of any major project despite the Union Government pumping huge funds for the development.

Locals allege that a major chunk of the district funds are diverted for the development of three PDP legislators’ native Chandoosa, Kreeri and Rohama villages. “In Baramulla district, it seems development is only needed in the native villages of three PDP legislators, who have chosen to ignore the needs of the rest of district, including the town,” said Muhammad Yousuf, a local resident. Locals say the interference by these legislators have made the administration defunct and inaccessible to the general public.

Abdul Gani Malik, who was recently promoted as the Director, Planning, has been posted in the district for the past 15 years. Similarly, locals have raised questions on the performance of Deputy Commissioner (DC), Baramulla, Nasir Naqash, who is considered very close to a PDP legislator. “Officers are working under the patronage of three legislators, who have misplaced priorities for the district. The DC office has been turned into the political office of the PDP by these legislators,” said another local Zahoor Ahmad, who rued that the administration had become inaccessible to people and was unwilling to address demands of the common people.

Baramulla DC Nasir Naqash said several infrastructure projects were incomplete due to the lack of funds. “We have sent a report of languishing projects to the government for funding and hope the work will gain momentum,” he said. He, however, denied allegations that most of the development projects are coming up in PDP legislators’ native villages. As per official data, infrastructure projects worth Rs 10,479 lakh need immediate funding for completion.

Apart from Greater Baramulla project, the government has left eight major bridges, four water supply schemes and a PHC project incomplete.

The government has shelved the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded Greater Baramulla project announced in 2006. The project was aimed at giving a facelift to the town. The work on the building of Primary Health Centre (PHC), Wagoora, was stopped two years ago. Out of Rs 1.32 crore, the government has spent just Rs 23 lakh on the hospital in the past three years.

The work on Jetty Bridge, which would bypass the traffic of Rafiabad and Kupwara from the town, has been going on at a snail’s pace since 2002. Other incomplete projects include bridges in Julla Uri, Mazbugh and Doabagh and water supply schemes at Bandi Bala, Panjnag and Checkipora.

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