“Ask anyone in the PHE circuit in the department and he will surely say, I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. So what can I do, I am still working on it…”By M S Nazki
Yes this is no exaggeration as things are awful in PHE Department Sub Division Mendhar. The people are going to the extent of saying that the system has collapsed and there is no way out!
Water supply has always been a problem in Mendhar although various schemes have been established but most of them are in a terrible state and this incidentally is still an understatement.
No official is interested and the AAE is simply not interested in the ball game and his lower staff is a step ahead of him.
The whole thing comes under the Mechanical Division, PHE District Poonch. It is not that the situation is only bad in Mendhar itself, Surankote and Mandi too are languishing and the problems are all water supply related.
The people are vehement and are saying that no one is interested, no one is bothered about public health which is the primary concern of the department as that is why it has been set up.
So many SOP’s have been made by the department officials and are all in the massive fat manuals of the department. It looks like they were made and never read. Had they been the conditions would have been much better.
Ask anyone in the PHE circuit in the department and he will surely say, I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. So what can I do, I am still working on it.
They have a sure-fire formula for success, and they have a formula for failure and that is to try to please everybody all the time. Maybe that is the reason as to why the senior officials do not act and the lower ones rule the roost and do whatever they want to.
People are disillusioned, disappointed and disenchanted with the department and they think that the officials have forgotten the art of working and that is the reason as to why they sit back and enjoy the predicament of the people suffering.
This problem is not today. This is an old problem where the people have been running all over to get water. I mean clean water in the taps that are established in their houses. But that in most places is not happening. What is happening is that they are turning back to the age old and dependable natural resources. But there is a problem there too because the sources are contaminated, the water is dirty and over and above this is a time when the virus is haunting humanity. Last but not the least, the summers are approaching and the problems are going to mount to double time with the department in no position to act or react because the whole system has gone defunct or the better word would be collapsed underneath its own burden of ignorance and arrogance.
The officials in the PHE Department in District by now should realize that they are being paid for a job to be done. This way or that way they are basically there to serve the people. Yes they get the chair of power but that is to give instructions to get the things moving for the people but that is not happening since ages now. They must make a decision that they are going to move on. It will not happen automatically. They will have to rise up and say, we don’t care how hard this is, we don’t care how disappointed we are, we are not going to let this get the best of me. So let us start moving on with the pending tasks. But this is only in imagination because nothing plausible happens on the ground.
The people do not want perfection but at least the equipment installed should meet some criteria. In the above mentioned places there is nothing planned but still the department can get it right by having no fear of perfection because that they will never reach and the people know that.
I The problem areas:
In Mendhar, Surankote and Mandi, all parts of District Poonch dozens of pumps from the pumping stations are not functional.
Some have come to Jammu for repairs but due to virus invasion in the second invasion they are waiting to be lifted back.
The allegations made by the people are that as and when the pumps give in, the spare parts procured are of substandard quality. They are installed and the pump is made functional but after a few days it is back to square one.
Obviously there is no quality check of the material being procured. Not anyone’s fault because this never was the precedence and the reasons need not be elaborated.
There are supposed to be three water tanks on the inventory of PHE Department Sub Division Mendhar.
One had gone to Rajouri for repairs a year back. Whether it was repaired or not is not known but what is known is that PHE Department Mendhar owes money to the workshop. They are not paying as the people are suffering.
Javed Rana, the former MLA from Mendhar had released two water tanks to the PHE Department here. So they became three. Another one is defunct and off the road and one is operational running but hats off to the driver who is managing the wheels which are in a pathetic state.
Now the summers are approaching and once again the problems would be the same as they were in yester years. The situation may be good in the areas in and around the bus stand which in actuality is the main town Mendhar but elsewhere it is deplorable.
The water tanks need to be on the roads for the supply of the water. Off the roads means that they are as good as scrap.
The problems are far too many and that is the reason as to why the people say that the PHE Department is a collapsed system here. It really is because no one knows what has to be done nor are they interested in doing it.
II. What has the EXN to say?
I had an elaborate talk with the EXN District Poonch Rajesh Sethi and he had plenty to say regarding the state of affairs.
He clearly said that he was new in the chair and was taking stock of the situation.
I have come to know about the lacunas at various places and shortly I would be addressing them.
Trust me the people are my priority and my every effort will be directed towards their well being.
Be rest assured that everything will be fine after a few days.
Great men with substance have time and again said that It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. That is what PHE Department Sub Division Mendhar has done in all the years that have gone by. They have just sat back on their abject failures. They never gave a thought to the fact that they may encounter many failures, but they must not be declared as failures as the people declared them a long time back. Now the onus is on the officials to think as to how they can still come out of it and change failure into a resounding success and mind you it can be done because it has been done in the past by many others, not in Mendhar but in other places in UT Jammu and Kashmir!