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February 12, 2019 |

Kashmiris marooned

Srinagar-Jammu highway remained closed for sixth consecutive day on Monday raising hackles in the two divisions of Jammu and Kashmir. In Jammu, the stranded Kashmir-bound passengers even lodged protest and demanded immediate restoration of the highway or alternate arrangement to be made by the Governor administration. Press trust of India also reported a scuffle between students of Gandhi Memorial Science College and the stranded passengers whom they accused of raising ‘objectionable slogans’. Meanwhile, there are reports pouring from Jammu region about the condition of marooned travelers who have been ignored by authorities and are being helped by the locals. While as the administration assuaged the travelers who had to appear in examinations and pilgrims earlier, it cannot do the same to thousands of travelers who are stranded because of the closure of the highway. Heavy snow and landslides near Jawahar Tunnel have posed serious challenge to the state administration that is battling to clear roads hit by landslides on one hand and remove the snow from blocked roads on the other hand. Although the governor administration has initiated some exigency plans, but the larger picture of Valley remaining cut off from the rest of the state and world is a grim one. It cannot be fixed by the thinking that is hallmark of exigencies in the state. It rather requires larger view of the situation and a long term plan. Governor Satya Pal Malik has been in the state for a smaller period of time than the officials in bureaucracy. Many of these officials have collectively decades of experience and are known to the crises that have pushed the state into isolation. Clearing the roads of snow and debris from landslides is not a permanent solution but a quick fix to contain the damage. As it happens, this year the winter problems have been shriller forcing the administration to shun the complacence that everything is alright in Valley. People are suffering on a number of accounts – the power and transmission in valley has affected and been erratic, the mobility within the valley has suffered no to mention the isolation caused by closing of highway, the prices in Kashmir have soared, supply of essentials and medicine has stopped, education has suffered as students are not able to reach their exam venues, and more. If the people are to judge the performance of the Governor administration, what yardstick should they choose? The administrators have not been paratrooped in the Valley – they are well versed with the needs of the people, but they surely are myopic for their vision, solving problems as they arise and planning little for future crises.

 

February 12, 2019 |

Kashmiris marooned

              

Srinagar-Jammu highway remained closed for sixth consecutive day on Monday raising hackles in the two divisions of Jammu and Kashmir. In Jammu, the stranded Kashmir-bound passengers even lodged protest and demanded immediate restoration of the highway or alternate arrangement to be made by the Governor administration. Press trust of India also reported a scuffle between students of Gandhi Memorial Science College and the stranded passengers whom they accused of raising ‘objectionable slogans’. Meanwhile, there are reports pouring from Jammu region about the condition of marooned travelers who have been ignored by authorities and are being helped by the locals. While as the administration assuaged the travelers who had to appear in examinations and pilgrims earlier, it cannot do the same to thousands of travelers who are stranded because of the closure of the highway. Heavy snow and landslides near Jawahar Tunnel have posed serious challenge to the state administration that is battling to clear roads hit by landslides on one hand and remove the snow from blocked roads on the other hand. Although the governor administration has initiated some exigency plans, but the larger picture of Valley remaining cut off from the rest of the state and world is a grim one. It cannot be fixed by the thinking that is hallmark of exigencies in the state. It rather requires larger view of the situation and a long term plan. Governor Satya Pal Malik has been in the state for a smaller period of time than the officials in bureaucracy. Many of these officials have collectively decades of experience and are known to the crises that have pushed the state into isolation. Clearing the roads of snow and debris from landslides is not a permanent solution but a quick fix to contain the damage. As it happens, this year the winter problems have been shriller forcing the administration to shun the complacence that everything is alright in Valley. People are suffering on a number of accounts – the power and transmission in valley has affected and been erratic, the mobility within the valley has suffered no to mention the isolation caused by closing of highway, the prices in Kashmir have soared, supply of essentials and medicine has stopped, education has suffered as students are not able to reach their exam venues, and more. If the people are to judge the performance of the Governor administration, what yardstick should they choose? The administrators have not been paratrooped in the Valley – they are well versed with the needs of the people, but they surely are myopic for their vision, solving problems as they arise and planning little for future crises.

 

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