By Daya Sagar Minister for Agriculture in Congress- PDP alliance 2002-2008 had informed the legislature that on date Kishtwar Saffron was worth fetching nearly 40 to 50% more price than the Kashmir valley Saffron. But still even after that not much has been done to promote the Kishtwar saffron, why? The people of Indian state of J&K, particularly remote areas of Kishtwar/ Doda/ Bhaderwah/ Ramban/ Udhampur/ Kathua/ Rajouri / Reasi /and like had not been given fair treatment / not paid due attention all these years as regards due share in the exploitation and development of vast exploitable tourism potential (for summer / winter tourism), promotion of local horticulture & local pulses like Rajmah / local spices like Saffron & Black Jeera and laying of communication infrastructure.
Nearly 40,000 families had to run for life from the areas of Indian state of J&K occupied by Pakistan (POJK) in 1947 (Mirpur, Kotli, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit, etc ) and almost all of them have settled in areas outside Kashmir valley. What to talk of extending then special socio- economic support / due claims for the assets left behind , so unfairly in December 2016 GOI while extending even the meager amount of just Rs.5.5 Lakh / family of POJK DPs of 1947 times had ordered it to be one time settlement and to add to the agony had so mercilessly excluded those POJK DP families from the list who are staying in other Indian states outside J&K. It is now nearly 27 months since then and inspite of repeated submissions to the government for making corrections to wrong unjustified decision of 2016 no correction has been made, some are even alleging that State / Central Governments have not bothered to apply corrections to the wrong decisions since the affected families mostly belonged to areas from outside Kashmir valley and are staying outside Kashmir valley. This way even Delhi has become a party to the unfair deals done for the people of Jammu Region, may be those in the government who were supposed to place factual position before the PM/ HM have not been able to carry / understand the real issue. Kashmir valley leaders have been shedding crocodile tears in the name of Chenab Valley and Pir Panchal region but on ground the people such like remote areas are still denied fair administrative structure in terms of restructuring of district administrative units that surely have effect on Administration and Prospective Planning. Similarly due representation to people of these areas in the legislature has been denied defying the norms as laid in J&K Representation of the People Act 1957. No accountable progress has been there even for a few unfinished works already in progress like the Basoli – Bani- Bhaderwah road / Bhaderwah- Chamba road and small tourist circuits proposed earlier what to talk of taking up new major capital intensive tourist circuits/ high value projects (worth a few thousand crores to make good the loss suffered by this side of tunnel due to Delhi seeing J&K only in Kashmir valley. Multi-lane Jammu- Poonch Highway project (although Jugal Kishore Sharma MP at his level had been lonely working for expediting that), the multi lane Batote – Kishtwar project , the multi-lane Mughal Road project and the like are still in 2019 paper tigers from commercial / civic point of view while people were expecting that works would be pushed with ‘triple pace’ to cover up the neglect of more than 6 decades.. Bhaderwah that the leadership has been calling / and still calls “Mini- Kashmir” has so far been extended only lip sympathy and even in 2019 the area that has vast exploitable commercial tourism potential has l not been given even a “corner space” in the tourism promotion campaigns of the government. Patnitop Sanasar road, just a 18 Km track is still worth not more than safe single lane road and during rainy season / hard days the tourist traffic has to venture against risk to not only passengers but also to the vehicle. As regards tourism and infrastructure development nothing much substantial has been done worth attracting commercial tourism even in the potential summer tourism / adventure tourism areas existing in Bhaderwah / Kishtwar/ Udhampur/ Rajouri/ Poonch/ Reasi/ Kathua districts. The tourist flow due to the pilgrimage of Mata Vaishno Devi to Jammu region is of no credit to the government. The pitiable status of Surinsar – Mansar Lake track which is a worth exploitable commercial tourism track in addition to its being pilgrimage route for many via Dhar Road is not hidden from any one ( Dayalachak- Dhar road link is worth taking a “Ghost” ride in case one would have dared to drive on where I have not dared to repeat after 18 July 2018 from Pathankot NH). The PDP – BJP Government promised in its “1st March 2015 Agenda for Alliance” that delimitation of single member segments for Legislative Assembly would be got done before next elections but the alliance partners did not even talk of moving a bill in the J&K Assembly so as to amend Section-47 of J&K Constitution so as to undo the affect of 29th Constitutional amendment Act (The Kashmiri leadership sensing the work being done by persons like writer for creating awareness had managed in 2002 to amend the constitution of J&K thereby deferring the appointment of a new delimitation commission only after 2026 Census) to enable a new Delimitation Commission worth correcting earlier wrongs by allocating 45 to 46 MLAs out of 87 to Jammu region as against only 37 allocated in 1994/95 where there are 14 elected MLCs as per Section 50 of J&K Constitution and Kashmir Valley has only 12 elected MLCs. After Pakistan occupied some areas of J&K in Oct/Nov 1947 Kashmir Valley was left with just over two districts ( Anantnag, Baramulla and a tiny part of Muzaffarabad ) where as Jammu Region had over 4 districts plus two Jagirs of Poonch and Chenani but in 1979 (SRO 306 of 6/6/1979) small Kashmir region was reorganised into six District Administrative units and Jammu region was also given only six districts where as by method of proportions the number of districts in Jammu region should have been raised to atleast 10-11. In 1984 Wazir Commission (WC) recommended for three more new districts in Jammu region and only1 for Kashmir region but again so unfairly the Congress- PDP government in 2006 ( SRO 185 of 22 May 2007 ) instead gave 4 more new districts to Kashmir Valley and only 4 more districts to Jammu region where as Jammu region should have got atleast 10 new districts when Kashmir got 4 new districts. It was expected in 2015 that ‘new’ alliance (BJP-PDP ) would make the corrections but no corrections were made even when people of Rajouri district represented in 2018. The people of Kishtwar/Doda/ Bhaderwah/ Ramban/Udhampur/ Kathua/Rajouri / Reasi / have been the worst sufferers and their representatives in Legislature / Parliament / Government have not toiled for the just local cause. When PDP-BJP alliance had started the session in 2015 many hoped that the corrections to the wrongs done upto 2015 to the people living in the remote and backward areas of J&K would be applied but even that did not happen. To be brief the position on ground has not improved noticeably for people of Jammu Region / Duggar Region of J&K. (Daya Sagar is a Sr Journalist and social activist can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kartik Aaryan, Janhvi Kapoor to headline ‘Dostana’ sequel
Veteran actress Vijaya Nirmala dead
It’s all speculation: Sonakshi on Deepa Malik biopic
What is Acute Encephalitis Syndrome?
Cole Sprouse had crush on Jennifer Aniston while working on ‘Friends’
© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper