‘Embarrassed’ Malik slams depts’ working, corruption

Sahil Rasgotra. Updated: 4/18/2019 12:22:45 PM Front Page

“Bureaucrats, leaders ruined J&K; they will restore it too”

JAMMU: A day after he asked his administration to take strict action against irregularities and corruption prevalent in government departments, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday made public his displeasure, regret and embarrassment, hitting out at the ‘slow functioning’ of departments, even as he made a veiled attack on some of State’s top Babus.

Known for his outspoken nature, Malik said it was bureaucracy and political leadership of Jammu and Kashmir which ‘destroyed’ the State, maintaining that only those responsible can restore its golden era.

He also alleged that a number of top leaders have encroached state land, which is being retrieved now to be put to better use of public.

The Governor also said that some political parties are speaking in a language which is harming the state.

Malik said he was embarrassed with the way the government departments and some bureaucrats have been working in the state, hampering efficient public service delivery.

“Jammu and Kashmir may be the only place where a file takes months—at instances years—to move from one table to another,” Malik said while presenting ‘Rajya Puraskars’ to 330 Scouts and Guides at an Award Presentation Ceremony here today.

“I am much embarrassed at the way corruption and irregularities have crept into the system,” he said.

The Governor shared a personal experience to make his point.

“After the security of several persons was withdrawn in Jammu and Kashmir, I received a call from Delhi and was told to restore the security cover to a person who was under threat of militant attack.

“I asked the Chief Secretary to ensure the same on April 2. Only on April 15, the person was provided the security,” Malik said.

“It takes almost 4 months for any file to move from one table to another here. There are some officers who sit on important files for years altogether,” the Governor remarked.

Recently, Centre had reviewed security details of a large number of protectees, taking the total number of such persons since the imposition of Governor’s rule here to 919, thereby freeing 2,768 police personnel and 389 vehicles.

“Personally, I was not in favour of removing the security. It was MHA’s order that we followed,” Governor said.

“Though it is morally wrong but I am putting out this incident in public domain because it was bureaucrats and politicians who ruined Jammu and Kashmir. And only they can restore it back to its pristine glory,” Malik said.

In another hard-hitting statement, Malik said that many big politicians and big-wigs have exploited the Roshni Act to illegally encroach the State lands.

“There is a lot of land in Jammu. But many influential persons including some big politicians have illegally encroached them and made swimming pools and what not on State lands.

“I have abolished the Roshni Act and have asked the Crime Branch to investigate into the matter and seize or demolish the illegal structures. The action is being taken.

“However, from what I am told, 90% of land is yet to be retrieved and I assure you that it would happen soon,” he said.

Governor was replying to a demand made by J&K State Bharat Scouts and Guides (S&G) for a piece of land to set up its new office.

“I have only yesterday told the secretaries to take strict action against irregularities and corruption,” Malik said.

On Tuesday, Malik had convened a high-level to review the functioning of the government departments and urged his officers not to fear or favour the corrupt and erring elements.

The Governor had also impressed upon the senior officers to ensure prompt and efficient public service delivery.

Later, while speaking to reporters after the event, Malik said that some political parties are using such language which is harming Kashmir.

“This sort of language will hit hard the interests of Jammu and Kashmir. I appeal to them to be cautious and avoid speaking on such sensitive issues,” he said, in an indirect reference to recent statements of Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah on J&K’s accession to India

When asked that some parties have been claiming to withdraw the restrictions on Civilian use of Highway after coming to power, Malik said he does not know when they will come to power.

“But one thing is certain that if any citizen is having any kind of difficulties then their cognizance will definitely be taken. Also, necessary steps will be taken in this direction so that they do not face any problem,” Malik said.

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