JAMMU: The newly elected District Development Council (DDC) chairperson of few districts have accused concerned Deputy Commissioners for working on their own while violating law and sought intervention of Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha.
As per the reports, DDC Ramban chairperson Dr Shamshad Shan and DDC Udhampur vice chairperson Juhi Manhas Pathania have written to the Lieutenant Governor comprehensive letters briefing him on host of decisions taken by the District Development Commissioners while Kishtwar DDC chief Pooja Thakur has also charged the DC with violation of protocol and giving them the office which is not even fit for Class-IV employees.
Significantly while Juhi Manhas, who happens to be the wife of former BJP MLA from Ramnagar Ranbir Singh Pathania, has directly targeted Udhampur District Development Commissioner Indu Kanwal Chib of finalizing certain works and plans on her own, the DDC Udhampur chairman Lal Chand Bhagat, who is also from the BJP, doesn’t concur with her saying the Deputy Commissioner is doing a good job.
In her letter to the Lieutenant Governor, Juhi Manhas has identified series of works announced by Chib without taking consent of the DDC and has administration mentioning names of the DDC members in some of the communications even below Tehsildar.
Manhas has mentioned that first instalment of District Plan (Capex Budget) funds by the Finance Department has been made with less defined role of DDCs. The meetings have been convened by the DC office Udhampur asking the DDCs to attend as participants. Similarly, Action Plan for works in tribal areas has been proposed without taking the DDCs on board.
“Authorization for works under ‘CD and Panchayats’ has been made without consulting the DDCs. DDC member from Ramnagar-I Mool Raj was initially provided one room office but the keys were later taken back. Provision of DDC office at Udhampur has been made which neither suits requirements nor dignity of the DDC,’’ she told to Daily Excelsior.
She added that the DDC members are elected representatives of the people. Without taking them on board, the officers shouldn’t settle any plans/proposals/schemes as this will erode very essence as well as edifice of grass-root democracy, she asserted.
She has also incorporated the official letters with her representation to the Lieutenant Governor pertaining to sanction of works and mentioning names of DDC members below their protocol.
DDC Ramban chairperson Dr Shamshad Shan, who is from National Conference, submitted a Resolution to the Lieutenant Governor the other day during his visit to the district.
She said the district administration has selected office for the District Development Council which is four kilometers away from the district headquarters and the town and it will not be possible for the common man, who has no conveyance facilities of their own to reach there.
“The district administration is deliberately trying to keep us outside the premises of District Administrative complex despite the fact that lot of accommodation is available within the premises in which not only the requirement of DDC office can be taken care of but some more offices can be accommodated judiciously using the space,’’ Dr Shan has said in a unanimous Resolution signed by all 14 members of the Council, a copy of which was submitted by her to the Lieutenant Governor the other day.
She said the administration seems to have made it a prestige issue in keeping the DDC representative away from the District Administrative complex which would not only result in inconvenience to the public and the Councilors but also the officers especially the Additional District Development Commissioner, who happens to be the Chief Executive Officer to the DDC, and had to be dedicatedly involved in all activities associated with the Council.
DDC chairperson from Kishtwar Pooja Thakur, who also belongs to National Conference, has sent a copy of letter written to her by Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar Ashok Kumar Sharma which addressed her as “Dear” and “Smt” instead of according due respect like Honourable or Respectable as the Ministers of State are addressed.
Thakur said sufficient accommodation is available within the office complex of the district headquarters in Kishtwar but the Deputy Commissioner intentionally wants to give them office outside which will cause problems to the visitors from rural areas, who directly reach the district complex.
“Office and residential accommodation for the chairperson are not fit,’’ Thakur added.
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