Two years after the repeal of article 370, the hope of a prosperous “Naya Kashmir” is alive despite the proponents of the end of the world calling it a “pipe dream”.
Rome was not built in a day, argue the supporters of “Naya Kashmir”.
The administration headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha believes that the development push and its anti-corruption efforts are visible on the ground.
“Planning projects is a matter of paperwork and implementing them on the ground with the huge funding required to do so is a different ball game.
“Huge funds are spent on every J&K development project. Despite the constraints imposed by the pandemic, the administration has not authorized the suspension of a single development project, ”said a senior government official.
It is reasonable to expect that two years will not be enough for development results to become palpable on the ground, argue supporters of J & K’s full integration with the rest of the country.
Ironically, the powerlessness of mainstream politicians was seen in J&K as the empowerment of the common man.
“Those who played king now fear losing their personal property. It’s a positive sign, but people need a ground-level translation of the intention to empower us, ”said Sajad Ahmad, a trader in Srinagar Old Town.
Critics, however, say they don’t see the brick and mortar needed to fulfill the promised dream of making J&K the crown jewel of the country.
“Not a single development step has been taken in the past two years. Whether it was laying new roads, building energy projects, or building the rail link and building tunnels, it all started under the tenure of Dr Manmohan Singh.
“Give me just one example of any development achievement that we have seen over the past two years,” noted former chief minister Omar Abdullah.
But the head of the BJP state unit, Ravinder Raina, replied: “Those who have lost their kingdom cannot expect to see anything good to happen after their ousting.”
While politicians on either side of the divide cannot be expected to agree on post-August 5, 2019 developments, the common man at J&K says the past two years have been very tough and trying for them. him.
“One year after the repeal of Article 370 and the downgrading of J&K to Union territory, there has been a literal erasure of the tourism and travel industry”.
“Virtually no tourism took place during the periods after August 5, 2019”.
“We waited for the same thing to resume in 2020, but that did not happen. During the two months, however, tourism started to appear ”.
“The pandemic is largely responsible for the slowdown in our economy, but at the same time, there has been little administrative effort to support those whose bread and butter depended on the hospitality industry,” a hotelier said on the famous Boulevard Road by the banks. from Dal Lake.
People dependent on the hospitality industry or cottage industries like shawl, wood carving, papier mache, etc. need market.
“We have been promised a free market for our crafts and once the middleman is eliminated we will fully benefit from our work,” said Muhammad Raza, a papier-mâché artisan in Srinagar.
The government says it has created avenues for better markets for local horticulture, crafts and other local industries.
“The biggest obstacle to building industries at J&K has been the shortage of electricity. The government has built new projects, made arrangements for importing electricity from outside and over the next 4 years J&K is expected to be self-sufficient in electric power, ”another senior government official said.
A major grievance over the past two years has been that people are unable to reach out to the administration to seek redress for their grievances.
“This is where you need a political government with elected officials. Unless those who run a democracy are elected by the people, you cannot expect the common man to be heard with patience, ”said J&K Apni Party Chairman Syed Altaf Bukhari.