Barbaad gulistaan karne ko …… one owl was enough

Dehradun : ‘Barbaad gulistan karne ko sirf ek hi ullu kaafi hai/anjame gulistan kiy hogia jab har shaak pe ullu baitha ho’. It is an old saying which roughly translated reads – an owl is enough to destroy a garden, what will be the fate of the garden if there is an owl on every branch.

This about sums up the reason for the misery of the people of Uttarakhand, who despite having spent months braving the lathis and bullets of the police and PAC, for carving out the state from Uttar Pradesh, feel that they have been badly let down.

Almost all except the ‘babudom’ feel that they were better off as a part of Uttar Pradesh for corruption, nepotism and red tapism were never at today’s levels.

To point out how policy making is done and works implemented without going into the ground realities and verifying things at the grass root are reports of two departments of the state.

That policies are made in air conditioned chambers and implemented there itself, while funds are siphoned off in implementing programmes will be proved by these reports.

For the transfer of teachers schools have been classified in convenient, very convenient, difficult and extremely difficult categories, depending upon their distance from the district headquarters and from the nearest road head.

But what exercise was put in calculating the accrual distances and marking the schools category is anybody’s guess.

According to information available in the education department, schools close to the road head have been classified as difficult and extremely difficult, while those far away have been termed as convenient.

In one case, there are two schools within one campus and one has been classified convenient and the other difficult though they are just next to each other.

This is not all in Tehri district, a school, at Ghumetidhaar, just three kms from the district headquarters has been classified as difficult while that at Paukhal, about 30 kms away has been termed as convenient.

There are various such examples pouring into the department headquarters from various districts of the state, forcing the authorities that be say that the matter would be looked into.

And now about the implementation of schemes in Uttarakhand, the forest department’s own report is an eye opener. In the various forest ranges of the state as many as 2,25,750 plants were planted between 2006-07 and 2011-12.

Of these only 25,067 have survived and kind you, a sum of about Rs 45 lakhs was spent on the plantation drives, meaning whereby that one plant has cost over Rs 180 of the tax payer’s money.

The report states that in 19 blocks of the different ranges the survival of the plants was zero, in nine blocks it varied from one to 10 per cent, the fencing put up for protection of the plants was not there and in some cases it had been shown to be swept away by the river waters during the rains,

What is appalling is that the report states that the department selected wrong species of plants to be planted in different areas.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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