The Model Code of Conduct imposed in Srinagar and Anantnag Parliament constituencies due to by-polls has affected development work in most of the districts of the Kashmir Valley.
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 said that he could not carry out a single developmental project 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 work on any projects because of the 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 said 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 after the budget was passed there is no paucity of funds,” Drabu said.
Owing to agitation in 2016 and then the four-month long winter, development work in Kashmir region have taken a serious hit. With the onset of spring this year, people were expecting that development work could begin.
“We could not announce any development project in Srinagar and Anantnag parliamentary constituencies 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 working in the civil secretariat said.
He said that the development in rest of the areas, too, was affected because of the inter-connectedness of official procedures and documentation. Pertinently, 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.