No let up in struggle to see-off AFSPA: Omar5 December 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today reiterated his vow for restoration of peace and political stability in the State to give meaningful forward push to the development and seek economic prosperity for the people. 'My endeavours will go on unabated in this direction', he said asserting that benefits of peace would reach to the people in all the fields of life. Addressing a public gathering at Kokernag after inaugurating power grid station as a part of the birth anniversary celebration of the late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, Omar said there will be no let up in his struggle to gradually see-off the laws like AFSPA from the State which have served their purpose, to make people relish the fruits of peace. Taking a dig on the double speak of PDP, he said that the party talks in three different tones about AFSPA at three different places of Srinagar, Jammu and Delhi. 'While the party talks in favour of revocation of this Act in Srinagar, its leadership keeps mum about it in Jammu and at Delhi, they make the revocation of AFSPA sub-servant to the desire of the Army', he said challenging PDP to speak in same tone about AFSPA in Srinagar as it speaks at New Delhi. He ridiculed this practice of gimmicks by the party to mislead people. 'People are wise enough to understand the designs behind PDP's double speak as they have experienced this characteristic of the party since its inception in the politics', he said adding, that the point of view on AFSPA advocated by him would be maintained. 'We would continue to work steadfastly about it', he emphasized. Omar said that the forward movement of his Government on political stability and development process is on. 'Without making noise for the path breaking initiatives taken and significant achievements registered by my Government during the last three years is amply visible', he said, adding that actions speak louder than words. On National Conference-Congress relations, he said that these are cordial and would continue to grow further with the passage of time. He said both parties are working jointly for achieving the goal of peaceful and progressive Jammu and Kashmir. Mr Abdullah said that the cordial relations between National Conference and Congress existed right from the times of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Sahib, Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Rajiv Gandhi and presently between him and Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. He said coalition would further strengthen for the larger interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Referring to the disagreements and quarrels taking place between various Ministers in the coalition Government led by Mufti Sayeed, Omar said that such clashes were clearly visible during that period and it was the permanent feature of the Cabinet meetings then. The Chief Minister said that the coalition Government led by him in the State is running in tandem, cohesion and there is total understanding between the coalition partners in the Government. 'You have never seen any such disagreement and clashes between coalition partners in the process of decision making by the present dispensation', he added. Correlating development with the availability of electricity, the Chief Minister said that in a State like Jammu and Kashmir the economic growth and holistic progress directly depends on a self-reliant power sector. 'Unless we are self-sufficient in the generation of electricity, we cannot make necessary dent in the industrial development and promotion of other economically important sectors', he said, adding that the State Government has to bear over ' 2000 crore as losses on the supply of electricity to the consumers in the State per annum. 'This grim scenario largely affects the development and puts hurdles in the process of generating employment for youth', he said and asked the people to cooperate with the Government by making timely payments of tariff and shunning the illegal use of electricity. Explaining the efficacy of Public Service Guarantee Act (PSGA) to ensure prompt service delivery to the people by the Government Departments and reduce the chances of corruption, the Chief Minister said that this initiative of his Government is one among the first few legislations enacted by some States in the the country. 'We have amply empowered the people to receive the designated services under the Act within the prescribed time frame and made administration legally bound for the same', he said the erring officials are liable to punishment and affected consumer entitled for compensation. He asked the people to take best advantage of the Act and get various public services delivered in the Departments of Transport, CAPD, Power, Revenue, PHE and Housing within the prescribed timeframe fixed for each service. 'I have directed the departments of power, transport, public health engineering, consumer affairs and public distribution, revenue and housing which come under the ambit of Public Service Guarantee Act, to install boards in the premises of their offices across the State in Urdu, Hindi and giving details about the services and the timeframe of these offices are bound to provide to the people. I have also told them to give details about the fine to be imposed on the erring official and the compensation to be paid to the consumers for not receiving the service within the stipulated time period', he said and asked general people to check the presence of these boards in the office premises of these departments and if they find these missing they should report to concerned Deputy Commissioner as also to the office of the Chief Minister. On empowerment of Panchayats in the State, the Chief Minister said that Government has transferred powers of 16 departments to the Panchayats to make them effective basic units of planning and development in the State catapult the policy of equitable and area specific development in the State in accordance to the aspirations of the people. The public meeting was also addressed by Ministers, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, Abdul Gani Malik, Dr. Manohar Lal, Shabir Ahmad Khan and Legislator Ghulam Ahmad Mir. The celebration of birth anniversary of Late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on December 5 was marked with the inauguration of five development projects and laying of foundation to equal number of works by the Chief Minister, across the State today. The Chief Minister inaugurated district Employment Counselling Centres at Ganderbal and Samba, a Power Grid Station at Lissar, Sagam in South Tourist Gateway at Qazigund and Power Grid Station at Ramban. Omar laid the foundations of Degree College at Pampore, Physical Education College at Ganderbal, Data Centre at Bemina, Polytechnic College at Samba and Data Centre at Jammu.