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Code of Conduct hampers development work in Kashmir valley

Drabu to hold review meeting on Monday

Srinagar, April 16 (KNS): The Model Code of Conduct imposed in Srinagar and Anantnag Parliament seats due to by-polls has affected development work in the Kashmir valley and has made tardy the purpose of conducting Budget session in January.
The code was imposed in Srinagar and Anantnag constituencies on March 9 when notification for the by-polls was announced by Election Commission of India. Due to MCC, no development work or any major project was announced or carried out in these regions.
Since by-polls for Srinagar were held on April 9 and 13, for Anantnag seat the polls were postponed till May 25, extending MCC by more than a month.
Mehraj-u-Din who lives in Shopian district told KNS that he could not do a single work because of the code imposed in the constituency since elections were announced.
“I have a number of contracts and bills pending from the last 10 months, but no official clears the documents because of the code. In 2016 summer, the contractors could not do a single work because of uprising. Now, by-polls are slated for May 25, extension of the code has further aggravated our worries,” he said.
Finance minister Dr Haseeb Drabu told KNS that the code of conduct has hampered the development work only in those areas where the code was imposed.
“I have called a review meeting on Monday and will assess the grievances of the people. And I have already released 50 % found allocation in February the budget was passed,” Drabu told KNS.
Owing to agitation in 2016 and then the four-month long winter, development work in Kashmir region got hit. With the onset of spring this year, people were expecting that development work could begin.
“We could not order any development work in Srinagar and Anantnag seats due to code of conduct. And now it has been extended by a month for Anantnag seat, it will surely delay all the planned development programmes there,” an official told KNS in civil secretariat.
He said that the development in rest of the areas, too, was affected because of the inter-connectedness of official procedures and documentation.
A number of people which KNS spoke to said that the code has hit the official work for these areas in civil secretariat also. The officials said their “hands are tied” because of the code.
The PDP-BJP government has preponed the budget session to January to ensure better planning and execution of schemes from the beginning of the financial year and utilization of funds from first quarter.
The government had said that the execution of developmental projects and schemes in Kashmir and Ladakh can be executed from the beginning of April. (KNS)