By Daya Sagar
A Look Through The Mist (Part-III)
Administration & Prospective Planning : After Pakistan occupied some areas of J&K in October – November 1947 Kashmir Valley was left with just over two districts (Anantnag, Baramulla and a tiny part of Muzaffrabad ) where as Jammu Region had over four districts plus two Jagirs of Poonch & Chenani but in 1979 (SRO 306 of 6/6/1979) so unfairly for Jammu Region Kashmir region was divided into as many as six District Administrative units and in Jammu region also only six districts were kept where as by method of proportions the number of districts in Jammu region should have been raised to atleast 10-11. Not only that even when in 1984 Wazir Commission (WC) recommended for three new districts in Jammu region and only one for Kashmir region so unfairly the Congress- PDP government in 2006 ( SRO 185 of 22 May 2007) gave four more new districts to Kashmir Valley as against only one recommended by Wazir Commission in 1984 and only four more districts to Jammu region as against three recommended by Wazir Commission there by making 10 districts in both the regions where as by the norms adopted for Kashmir region, Jammu region should have got in 2006-2007 at least eight to nine new districts as against only four given. i.e Kashmir region was then given 300 % more than what was recommended by WC and Jammu region was given 33 % more than what was recommended.
It was expected in 2015 that ‘new’ alliance ( BJP-PDP ) would make the corrections but no corrections have been made in this regard even after the people of Rajouri district represented in 2018 for splitting Rajouri District into atleast two districts. It is not out of place to mention here that in 2006 Rajouri district had already seven Tehsils spread over an area of 2625 sq km where as in Kashmir Valley a new district of Shopian was created with only one Tehsil and area of about 312 sq km.
The BJP-PDP Government had all the justification for splitting Rajouri District into two districts but that was not done where as by all standards for making corrections to wrongs of the past atleast four to five more new districts could be created in Jammu Region to raising the number of districts in Jammu region from 10 to at least 14-15 in Jammu region as against 10 districts in Kashmir region before any more new districts are created in Kashmir Region. Atleast this correction could now be made by the Governor Administration without going to the Legislature / amendment of the constitution.
(iii) Tourism and infrastructure development : Nothing much substantial has been done in this regards as well except some low value isolated local schemes (no way worth attracting commercial tourism) even in the potential summer tourism / adventure tourism areas existing in Bhaderwah / Kishtwar/ Udhampur/ Rajouri/ Poonch/ Reasi/ Kathua districts that have remained unattended even after 1990. The tourist flow due to the pilgrimage of Mata Vaishno Devi to Jammu region is of no credit to the government. Even after nearly four years of BJP coming to power the Multi lane Jammu- Poonch Highway project ( although Shri Jugal Kishore Sharma MP at his level had been lonely making regular requests / demands/ efforts for that ) , the multi lane Batote Kishtwar Highway project , the multi-lane Bani- Bhaderwah highway project , the Bhaderwah- Chamba highway project , the multi lane Mughal road project and the like are still paper tigers where as people in 2014 expected that projects would be pushed ahead at ‘triple pace’ to cover up the neglect of last six decades. The Governor administration can attend to these projects so that the shortfalls are planned for priorities. A senior national level BJP leader too has been quoted as having said while in Srinagar on 28th June “Terrorism and radicalisation was growing and we felt it is time we allow the government to fall, let people experience real meaning of good governance and have fruits of development under Governor’s rule.”
It is hoped that such like issues will be taken care atleast by Governor Administration immediately starting with the reorganisation of district administrative units in Jammu region raising the number of districts from 10 to atleast 14-15 keeping only 10 in Kashmir valley to be followed by other issues that may need participation of legislature / issuing of ordinances , drawing of projects and allocation of large funds worth compensating for the unfair treatment / neglect given to Jammu region over last seven decades.
(Daya Sagar – Sr Journalist and a social activist can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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