The Legitimate Desk Time
Eventually a long pending demand of the frontier district Kupwara has been met after centre approved the extension of rail link from Baramulla to Kupwara.
The decision was announced by the Union Railway Ministry and the successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir have been demanding it for a long time.
With this connectivity in the northern part of country, it will be the last point to be connected with the rest of country.
Presently, the rail is already chugging until Baramulla as its last stop from Banihal, the last district of the country on northern side.
While the majority of the socio economic and developmental projects executed in Kashmir have more of strategic and defence significance due to its borders connecting with China and Pakistan, however, such projects also prove very significant in serving the needs of local people. Kashmir given to its typical topography and geography has been the worst sufferer.
Its economy is crippling while social connectivity is absolutely pathetic. Despite rich in resources and man power, it is not only struggling to build up its basic infrastructure; however, its economy also refuses to grow.
While the railway network in India is treated as backbone to its economy, the Kashmir sans any such facility though a track has already been laid while work on the Banihal-Udhampur stretch is underway.
The Union government seems to have understood the importance of setting the railway network in Kashmir.
This network would not only contribute in the robust growth of the state’s economy, however, it will be an instrumental in connecting the border region with the rest of country socially.
As of Kashmir has the only surface link that is not all weather and in winters causes huge difficulties.
Back home the mainstream political parties are trying to take credit for the approval of the project by centre.
The example in this case are two under constriction flyovers of Jahangir Chowk-Rambagh and TRC. Both the projects have been witnessing unprecedented delays and no party has been even so far able to ensure their speedy completion.
While this political hypocrisy warrants a thorough debate about the sincerity of these political parties in addressing the public issues, it also potentially puts the centre on the tough side.
The projects of public and strategic importance doesn’t need to be only announced, however, GoI must ensure it completes them on time to win the trust of people and ensure the local economy of people grows.
As of Jammu and Kashmir State is battling with a huge unemployment problem and the only economic prosperity of the state can address it.
Even the three interlocutors appointed by then UPA government to ascertain the reasons for the turmoil in Kashmir recommended one of the measures to address the developmental needs.
They had suggested GoI that Jammu and Kashmir requires a massive developmental douse to address their basic issues.
However, the packages that have been granted to state don’t show their presence on ground while lots of tall claims are political made.
Time has come when the Government of India needs to move from its rhetoric and ensure the things are really done on ground to win the hearts and minds of people who otherwise even in this 21 ist century are bereft of most of the facilities and still fight for the water, roads and electricity.