NPP protests over delay in construction of Basantgarh-Khaned road

JAMMU: Alleging deep rooted conspiracy in inexplicably delaying the construction of Basantgarh-Khaned road sanctioned under central flagship programme in 2009, scores of Panther activists led by Harsh Dev Singh (chairman JKNPP) and other leaders Monday staged a protest outside the office of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu.

The infuriated protesters while raising anti-BJP slogans exhorted the Divisional Commissioner to take due cognizance of the deliberate delay shown by the concerned officers towards the issues of remote areas, particularly Muslim dominated areas. They later submitted a memorandum to Divisional Commissioner Jammu seeking immediate construction of the road.

Addressing the media at the protest site, Harshdev Singh said that despite the work having been tendered in 2009 and the full funding having been released by the Government of India, the work could not be completed due to vested interests of biased and prejudiced politicians. He regretted that PMGSY authorities executing the work had deflected the blame to Forest Department for not giving clearance and the latter was blaming the former for giving incomplete details.

He said in this blame game, the people of the remotest belt of tehsil Basantgarh were made to suffer for no fault of theirs and deprived of the benefits of a project envisaged for them under a central scheme. For how long shall the people have to suffer for the vested interests of corrupt politicians, questioned Harshdev and appealed the Chief Secretary to dispose of the Forest clearance case of the road on priority in view of brewing public resentment in the area.

Holding the BJP squarely responsible for the lapse, Basharat Ali (general secretary) said that Saffron Party deliberately denied the rural connectivity to the people of villages Basantgarh, Mang, Punara, Sang, Arthal and Khaned because the belt comprised a Muslim dominated population of around 15000 souls.


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