Administrative apathy fatal than Covid pandemic: Mehbooba Mufti hits out at BJP-led centre

By PTI
JAMMU: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday lambasted the BJP-led government at the Centre for abandoning people at the crucial juncture and alleged that administrative apathy coupled with mismanagement and nepotism was proving fatal than the coronavirus pandemic.

She also alleged that efficiency, experience and competency are no more yardsticks for posting of officers at key places in Jammu and Kashmir “resulting in complete administrative chaos”.

“Jammu, in particular, has a mixed population and it has always ensured balanced administration but in the last two years nepotism has resulted in an imbalance in administration,” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said.

Addressing PDP’s Provincial Committee Jammu in a virtual meet attended by senior party leaders from across the region, Mehbooba claimed that the Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste population has been victimised in the name of anti-encroachment drives and people have been pushed to the wall to appease some political heavyweights.

“All the sections of society including traders, industrialists, transports, farmers, labourers besides others were today at the crossroad due to the official apathy and administrative inertia,” she said.

The PDP leader said Jammu in particular was given the impression that Article 370 was the only hurdle in the development and prosperity of the region.

“Today even medicine was not available to the people battling the pandemic,” she said.

Referring to the COVID-19 situation, Mehbooba said from the rising graph of positive cases and fatalities caused by it, it is clear that the administration in Jammu and Kashmir, like the rest of the country, was caught unprepared to meet the exigencies.

“Nepotism and favouritism has crippled entire administrative setup in the erstwhile state compounding miseries of general masses,” she said, adding the administration at the district level has been crippled as the ruling dispensation in Delhi is not allowing even the officers to take decisions required for the welfare of people.

“The independence and functioning of administration has been made hostage to the political aspiration of BJP and Jammu has been at the receiving end”, the PDP chief said.

She said the Mughal Road and Kishtwar-Sinthan highways, alternate routes connecting the Jammu region with Kashmir, remained closed for vehicular traffic despite huge amount spend on snow clearance only because those sitting in Delhi consider surface connectivity of Pirpanchal and Chenab Valley with Kashmir region as detrimental to their political interests “The closure of these important road links has not only affected the business community but has also restricted options for those who are required to go for specialised medical treatment,” she said.

Mehbooba urged the party leaders to formulate emergency response strategy at district level and reach out to the people at the grassroots level.

“We must acknowledge non-government and social organisations across Jammu and Kashmir, that played key roles during the current crises.

I hope our party leaders will also assist these organisations in reaching out to the people,” she said.