District Poonch is on a big overdrive and this vibrancy can be felt as one man is making all the noises!
-‘Being brave in taking administrative decisions is not for the light-hearted. Bravery in decision making takes fortitude, the very act of a brave instant decision prevents anyone from knowing you were ever afraid in the first place.’
-‘Before I start this one I want all of you to read this (it’s just a request in case you want to) because the entire story is based on this and this is regarding the wholesome development of district Poonch. So here I go, until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back and that is always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then the timely preparation for future eventualities moves. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have never occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s (the great Johann Wolfgang von Goethe the German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic. He is considered to be the greatest German literary figure of the modern era) couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it! Inderjeet the Deputy Commissioner Poonch happens to be one of the many.’
‘I would not sit waiting for some vague tomorrow, nor for something to happen. One could wait a lifetime, and find nothing at the end of the waiting. I would begin here, I would make something happen.’
Several things have happened ever since the year 2021 began. They had to since they were destined to happen. But it was great to see the district administration Poonch and the Indian Army working on multiple fronts with only one aim and that was to see the district doing well and the efforts have thus far paid off as things are reverberating and the people want to drive ahead. Motivation is the fuel necessary to keep the human engine running. That was unavailable from the administration since nothing was happening and now everything is. Perhaps Inderjeet the Deputy Commissioner believes in one thing: don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it. Every administrator should be on this matrix but unfortunately in UT Jammu and Kashmir very few are. Maybe the district at last got its own share of luck. Why am I writing this because:
I: The strike by the Virus:
It is the people and their mood from which the things can be gauged as to what is happening in a particular place. This is perhaps for the first time that one can make out that a lot of positivity is flowing and there are several reasons for that. To begin with the pandemic was a blow for everyone and obviously the virus struck district Poonch too but one must say that it was commendably handled by the authorities here. Both, Indian Army and the civil authorities worked in tandem and even during the time of extreme threatening environment the army and the civil authorities made sure that the spread of the virus was kept under the lid. Subsequently with oxygen plants being set up since the contagion was scorching the lungs of the people was a big necessity here. The people were the happiest lot as the administration was on the ball and the pace set up was a hectic one.
II. The Cease fire:
Cross LOC shelling was the biggest impediment as far as the developmental works went especially so on the Line of Control and the areas in its vicinity. The people were the sufferers as bombs and bullets kept hammering and battering them physically and mentally and the administration too could not do much about it. Various projects definitely used to be planned but could not move forward or were left half finished. But from February 25, 2021 onwards things began to change. One man sitting on top tiers of the administration in the district i.e. Deputy Commissioner Inderjeet went on the galvanizing spree and suddenly there came in the robustness which definitely was missing. The people were feeling the change but were still apprehensive as they had seen plenty of negativity in the past.
III. The people began to be heard:
Time and again we have said that the people in the district are simple. They derive joy for small things and their world is the place they stay in, conveniently could be called as their village. The problems in far flung villages are far too many and when the government at the center has come up with so many welfare schemes then why should these people be deprived of it? They used to raise their feeble voices but none would hear them for example those sitting as to guns in the department offices. Delaying and dilly dallying tactics was the one employed by the officials and postponing things till tomorrow what could be done today had become a routine affair. In other words no one listened to them and thus set in the frustration and the feeling that a happening tomorrow would never come. But now there is a change in the atmosphere. The people have realized that someone sitting in the Poonch Fort is listening to them be it in the form of the delegations or as individuals they are being heard and their small jobs are being executed and that is a significant step as far as public administration goes in the district.
IV. Administration reaching in far flung area:
Mendhar , Balakote, Mankote, Poonch and interiors of Surankote up in the slopes of Pir Panjals, Bufliaz, Mandi, Loren, Gagrian, Sabjian and host of other places are a delight to the eyes of the viewers and beholders but the darker side of the story says that they have also seen the worst of times and faced the wrath of the evil from very close quarters. But now when things are changing rapidly the people in the far distant villages of the above-mentioned areas also want to see and enjoy the fun generated by the development juggernaut. Now they are feeling the impact as things around them are happening and they are being contacted by the officialdom, a thing which had never happened in the past. Is it now a new beginning? Well it does look like yet it has to be sustained but nevertheless some great foundations are being laid and more importantly the same can be seen.
V. Half finished works are being taken up for completion:
We have told the readers several times that it is not that various works were not started in the district. They were planned, sanctioned and the implementation always began with a lot of enthusiasm and gusto but the steam tended to fizzle out somewhere in the middle. Why it used to happen is now history though it can be probed and investigated. But that is something different but as for now the stress is on completion of what was abandoned midway through. There are PHE water schemes that were languishing, the PDD was working at the pace of a crab, if the poles had been erected there were no electricity wires on it and if they were there they were dangling mid air swaying like a pendulum and the problem of the transformers was a perennial one. I’m not saying that the PDD department has not done any work, indeed they have but not in the interiors where the power supply is irregular and on several occasions the same once after disappearing never comes back, much to the chagrin of the people. But now the people are hopeful that things will get better since someone is monitoring the affairs with urgency.
So many buildings especially for schools, health facilities, and government offices are standing but not completed. The biggest example of all is the mini secretariat complex in Mendhar that stands gaping at the surroundings around. The people want that the same should be completed and are hopeful that it would be with the pace that has been set up for a change.
The roads, sub roads and link roads still are in a terrible state. Some need whole some repairs and some small ones like filling up the puddles and potholes. The PWD (R&B) Department is there to look into this but they seems their eyes are elsewhere. Surface communications are directly related to development and it’s the same other way round also. If they are not looked after in proper perspective it is obvious that nothing will and nothing can if the PWD (R&B) department does not make any right moves in the present day scenario. Obviously then nothing else can and that is precisely what is happening at the moment. The favorite reply nowadays is that we have floated the tenders the contractors have been given the job but they are just not willing to do the same and thus funds have elapsed and again the thing starts from scratch.
There are massive shortcomings in Education infrastructure. The children still are outside in natural grass lawns listening to the teachers in case the class is held, more often than not when the weather Gods are unhappy forget studies it is always back to home for children.
About the sheep and husbandry department, horticulture, floriculture, Rural Development, Agriculture well less said the better though fully functional departments do exist but what work they do is best known to the officials.
VI. Officials and a common man:
There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to yourself. But the officials and employees maintain that ‘Sahib and Jenaab attitude’, it’s nice that they are respected but they should reciprocate in a similar manner and not an ambiguous one!
This is what DC Inderjeet is trying to inculcate. The people want to get to the man first and the reason is that they find him responsive. No doubt that the other officers in various departments also respond but not with the kind of exuberance the Deputy Commissioner acts. He does time and again say, one ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words. That is ethics but which official has time in district Poonch to all these wonderful things and if gone by the past happenings one thing is reasonably convincing, the people in villages remained where they were and those who took to fast wheels of something which has a word which I do not want to use are ruling the roost. If inquiries are launched against those rotten maggots are going to roll out. If DC is slamming inquiries within his powers jurisdiction he is doing nothing wrong technically. If it does not work within simplified means then the steps taken have to be harsh and that is what h is doing because that is his job. But the various other departmental Master Green’s also have to do the same way!
VII. What the people say:
Honestly speaking I do not know the DC Commissioner Poonch, have never ever met him but spoken to him on the authenticity of the issue which I’m going to write. If some writings do help out the people then why not use your fingers on the keyboards for a meaningful purpose. We here do so and never are boisterous of the fact that we did it. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you. Because looking at the ground that matters. It does so because there live the people where the officialdom has to work. This man Inderjeet does that and that is why people queue in because they think that he is the one who can do it and mind you he is doing it. More are thinking many steps ahead. Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you said Ralph Waldo Emerson. The man must be playing around with words while writing one of his gems as poetry goes but this line has a great value. People in District Poonch especially of the poorer strata are saying, ‘ if many like to come here and sit in the chair that matters District Poonch would be a different place altogether. I do not think that they are wrong in their interpretations!
I will conclude this one with a few lines that the people told me. Simple people wanting simple joys in life deserve bigger ones as the others aspire. I will summarize what they said in about three or four lines. The present DC is laying foundations of a better tomorrow since we have seen a wretched and wrecked past. Now we are confident that our children do have a better future. Some men are born to do things for the people and happen to be one definitely and we wish more like him emerge. So, always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. That is what Inderjeet Deputy Commissioner Poonch is doing. Mind you no exaggerations here!