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Is back to village-3 programme a failure in Jammu and Kashmir?

Last Updated on October 13, 2020 at 9:20 pm

The much-hyped initiative of back to village programme of the government of Jammu and Kashmir has not been able to make a mark this time.

The government of J&K has planned to start a program in the far-flung areas of J&K to hear the problems faced by the locals. But the program has been a failure, according to the locals as no steps have been taken by the government to eliminate the problems from different villages. According to the locals, the senior officials of different departments do not look into the matter properly.

The Kotli Kalaban village in Rajouri has been facing a water crisis for the past many years. The women of the village had to walk miles to fetch water for household activities. According to the locals, the government of J&K organized back to village program even last year but no proper actions have been taken to provide water to the village so far. The villagers said that they do not hope that water will ever enter our village and we have to struggle daily to get water for drinking and cooking purposes. On the other hand, the Union Government claims that a flagship scheme has been introduced to provide water to every household in the village by 2024. 

Back to the village was launched by the government of J&K as an extensive program of reaching out to the people at the grass-root level with the mission of unbiased development. The program was aimed to energize the Panchayats and direct the development efforts in rural areas with the help of community participation. As a part of the program, the civil servants will reach out to each Panchayat of the state where they have to live for a specific period to interact and obtain feedback from the grassroots level and have to submit the report about the services required in the village. The purpose of the programme was to ensure proper development of rural areas in J&K. 

According to the locals, the majority of issues that had been brought under the notice of officials have remained unaddressed. Many locals residing in Bandipora district of Kashmir said that the program was a total flop as none of our issues have been addressed. According to the locals, the roads in the region are completely damaged and the entire region is struggling to get safe drinking water, and both these issues were raised during the B2V1 program but all in vain. The locals further said that the officials took note of many problems their village has been facing for several years but problems remained in the notebook as nothing has happened so far. 

The third phase of Back to the village which began on October 2 has also so far remained a flop show. As per the reports about 4,000 gazetted officers visited different Panchayats in J&K to resolve the issues faced by the locals. J&K LG Manoj Sinha said that October 2 was the perfect date to start the third phase of the programme. The programme is unique and the government aims to deliver the idols and philosophy of Gandhiji at every doorstep, LG said. The program was aimed to ensure that the beneficial schemes should reach every person in the village. 

This time the people didn’t participate in the programme because of many reasons. The non-fulfillment of promises made during the previous two editions of the program was the secondary reason for the people to attend the program. Only a few local men attended the program which was held at government school in Pulwama.

Officials who were part of the third phase found the low participation of locals in the program.

According to the official only BDC chairpersons, Panchs, and Sarpanches took part in the program. People only joined the program to receive their Domicile certificates quickly. Some youngsters were asked to attend the program only to collect the sports kit. Some officials also felt that the phase was organized at the wrong time. October is the harvesting month in J&K and people are largely engaged in their fields and this is not the proper time to hold the third phrase. The government should have done some homework before conducting the third phase, locals say.