Dehra Dun : As Uttarakhand vidhan sabha elections draw closer, chief minister B C Khanduri is lavishing from the starved cash coffers of the state in doling out sops to various sections of society. Apparently he has reached the conclusion that doling out sops to the masses is the only way he can repeat the BJP government in the state. And so it is a â€˜good byeâ€™ to efficient and good governance.
In the latest cabinet meeting held on Monday, the chief minister doled out sops yet once again to various sections, but his focus this time has been on the youth of the state. He announced a youth policy in an apparent bid to rope in the youth who form almost 40 per cent of the electorate of the state, in the hope that if he can swing even 10 per cent of them to the BJP camp it would be well worth its while.
Realising that finding employment is the biggest bane of the youth of this small mountain state, the chief minister promises a youth budget for the youth which will focus on creating jobs and employment avenues for them. Besides it also proposes to train ten lakh youth in the coming ten years so that they can get employment in the private and corporate sector.
Ironically, the policy categories even the 35-year-old as youth and the policy breaks them into three categories, from 13 to 18, 19 to 25 and 26 to 35. They have also been classified in eight different categories depending upon their needs, problems and aspirations, besides dividing them into sections like handicapped, urban, rural, unemployed, SC and ST to make the policy more specific oriented.
Sops have also been doled out to other categories as industrialists, SC and ST girls whose allowance for marriage has been doubled from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000, the uniform allowance and washing allowance for rangers and forest guards has been hiked and a sub committee has also been made for the regularization of more than 600 â€˜malin bastisâ€™.
And while sops are being doled to appease various sections, no thought is being given to effective governance. A classis example is the fact that no new ration cards have been made in the state in the state since May this year because of the simple fact that the ration cards and verification forms had finished almost in the entire Uttarakhand but no efforts were made either by the department or the state government to get new ones printed.
For more than six months APL, BPL and antyodaya families were running from pillar to post to get new ration cards made but there was no one taking heed of them and the district supply officers truned them away with the curt remark that there are no ration cards. What could be more humiliating than the fact that such families were asked to come every month to check whether ration cards had come to the office, despite knowing well the fact that even orders for their printing had not been given by the government.
However, a senior officer said that orders had been given for the printing of new ration cards, a couple of days back and they should be printed and reach the various district headquarters by the second week of December. More than six months to get just ration cards printed by the state government, forget other things. Mr Khanduri, is this good governance by your government?
A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt was Editor, Hill Post (Uttarakhand).
Jagdish had worked with India’s leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, he was a recipient of many awards
Jagdish Bhatt, aged 72, breathed his last on 28th August 2021 at his Dehradun residence.