Saturday, April 7, 2012

Let us not ignore core issues, Dr. JP counsels youth

In our obsession with the future of certain politicians, we are failing to discuss the core issues that revolve round politics, said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today.

"We frequently discuss how Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy's YSR Congress Party will fare in by-elections, the efforts being put in by TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu to make his party relevant and the growing schisms within the Congress. But we are not seriously concerned about eradicating corruption, improving education and healthcare, drinking water and power supply and infrastructure."

Addressing a group of students and youth who have come forward to devote a part of their time for transforming society, Dr. JP said that people in general focused on some burning issues to get immediate relief but not on resolving them for good. "We are missing the wood for trees", he pointed out.

Dr. JP cited a number of instances to drive home his message. People are concerned about drinking water availability in summer but fail to appreciate that the nearly Rs.7000 crore – Rs.8000 crore spent under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in the State has not been utilized to preserve and augment groundwater. They launch an agitation against an increase in the power tariff but ignore the grave crisis in the energy sector. A Government which could not bring down transmission and distribution losses and prevent wasteful use of electricity is now determined to execute lift irrigation schemes which cost Rs.3 lakh to Rs.4 lakh an acre. If the schemes materialize, the Government will have to spend Rs.20000 crore to Rs.25000 crore a year on their maintenance. The Government will be spending Rs.60,000 an acre under the scheme whereas the income from that piece of land does not exceed Rs.25000. In contrast, he recalled that as Prakasam District Collector he provided irrigation facility for two lakh acres by incurring an expenditure of a mere Rs.45 crore on lift irrigation schemes and bore-wells. Again in the wake of the transfer of an official probing the liquor mafia, the discussion centered on who benefited from it and not on providing autonomy to crime investigation agencies.

Dr. JP counseled the youth to focus on changing the nature of politics and bettering society. We have the technologies and resources to build a better India, he added.

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