Omar’s Priority ‘Bijli, Paani & Sadak’

8 January 2009
The statesman

Jammu: Guess what Jammu and Kashmir's youngest and dynamic chief minister Mr Omar Abdullah's priorities are! Well, to restore and provide basic amenities like “Bijli, Paani and Sadak” to the people of the violence-hit state. Perhaps that is why the new chief minister, in his first meeting after taking over as the new chief minister of Congress-National Conference led coalition government in J&K today, listed out 'Bijli, Sadak Aur Paani” as his priorities as he feels that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have given the new government mandate for speeding up development and improving basic amenities like these. “With the improvement in the overall security scenario, the attention of the government has to shift towards developmental activities,” said Mr Abdullah who chaired his maiden high-level meeting in Srinagar today, after taking over as chief Minister, to review the arrangements made regarding winter preparedness. Though he took over as the new chief minister on Monday, he, however, could not hold any meeting thereafter as he had to leave immediately for New Delhi to attend the meeting of chief ministers of Indian states. Then the demise of his uncle and former chief minister of J&K Mr Ghulam Mohammed Shah followed by three days’ state mourning, also prevented him from convening his first meeting. But today, the junior Abdullah officially chaired his first meeting as the new CM and would formally sit in his new office in Jammu tomorrow where the civil secretariat is working for the six winter months. Mr Abdullah told his officers that the priority areas have to be addressed with greater promptness to provide succour to the people. As winter brings along with it several problems, he told the administration to gear up to meet these on priority. The young chief minister who is keen to provide a good corruption-free government also made it clear that the merit will form the basis of the administrative machinery and officers and officials who exhibit ability and efficiency would be encouraged. But at the same time dereliction of responsibilities would be viewed seriously and those found involved would be treated accordingly. Mr Abdullah has also asked the senior functionaries to set targets for themselves and their subordinates working in the field and put in efforts to accomplish them within a stipulated timeframe. He feels this will go a long way in improving the efficiency and streamline the administration. His government would also set up a benchmark for the senior officers at various levels to evaluate their functioning.