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Opposition National Conference today expressed hopes that the visit of a five-member team, led by a senior home ministry official, to theborder areas of Jammu and Kashmir would help in mitigating the difficulties of the people who bear the brunt of unprovoked shelling by Pakistan. The team, led by Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry Rina Mitra, comprises Joint Secretary (Internal Security) Gyanesh Kumar and Director (Ministry of Home Affairs) R K Swarankar.
It has visited various forward areas along the International Border and the Line of Control in Jammu since its arrival here yesterday and assessed the damages caused by cross-border shelling by Pakistan. "The visit of the central delegation is an appreciation of the concerns of the border people by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who visited some of these areas recently," National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana said at a workers' meeting in the Nagrota Assembly Constituency here. He said three years have passed but nothing has been done for instilling a sense of security among the people living in border areas and hoped that building of bunkers and shelter sheds, allotment of plots of land and jobs under a special drive would be initiated and accomplished in a timely manner. "These are long-pending demands of the people who have got nothing except lofty promises before, during and after 2014 elections," he said, adding a humane approach is needed to address the difficulties faced by the people. The provincial president described the assessment as a "tacit admission of failure by the state government in assuaging the aspirations of border people". He referred to his recent visit to some forward areas and expressed anguish over the plight of the people, who feel threatened on various counts, especially as the winter has set in. "The economic activities of these places have come to a halt and the future of children remains in jeopardy, as they keep moving to safer places in frequent intervals due to the shelling," he said. Rana reiterated his demand of deputing a team of empowered Union Secretaries to audit the utilisation of central funding under various schemes and the reasons behind chronic developmental inertia in the state. "Such an initiative has become all the more necessary as the people are disenchanted with functioning of the PDP-BJP dispensation, which is hugely suffering from a governance deficit that has resulted in a developmental paralysis during the past three years," he said. Rana claimed that the public perception with regard to the working of the government is detrimental to the larger interests of the state, which is reeling under a crisis-like situation. The NC leader hoped that the concerns of the people would be addressed, paving the way for restoration of peace and normalcy.
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