Bias against Srinagar shocking: National Conference

National Conference on Monday highlighted the PDP-BJP Government’s “brazen and shocking discrimination against Srinagar” during the District Development Board meeting chaired by CM Mehbooba Mufti.
National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said the present Government’s statements about development and expansion of Srinagar had turned out to be mere statements and rhetoric as the city was facing the worst form of discrimination in terms of inadequate funds and lack of attention of the incumbent Government towards developmental projects initiated by the previous Omar Abdullah-led Government.
The National Conference General Secretary who is also MLA Khanyar said the injustice and discrimination against Srinagar was unprecedented and the PDP-BJP Government’s step-motherly attitude towards the State’s summer capital was evident in how funds allocated for Srinagar were shockingly and dismally lower in proportion as compared to other Districts in the State. “The glaring example of the raw deal given to Srinagar is that the Plan Size for 2016-17 for Jammu is 200 crores and for Srinagar it is only 100 crores which has also been highlighted by Kashmir Post and other publications recently. The tentative figure of plan development is proposed at 212 crores for Jammu and 102 crores for Srinagar for 2017-18. Is this not clear and evident indication of your Government’s discrimination against Srinagar”, the NC General Secretary asked the Chief Minister who chaired the District Development Board Meeting.
“The other glaring example of discrimination and step motherly attitude towards Srinagar is abandoning of the Syed Meerak Shah Road Project, the KZP Road Project and other core road projects that are vital for the city’s proper development and have a direct bearing on its economic activity and prospects. No progress has been seen on the Dal Development Project, or on similar initiatives for Anchar Lake and Khush-Hal Sar Lake”, the NC General Secretary added.
The NC General Secretary said the funds allocated for Srinagar are far less in comparison to funds allocated for other districts with significantly lower population and Assembly Segments. “We are votaries of equal development of all the three regions of the State and will not want any area to be neglected in any region. Sadly it is your government that is sowing the seeds of regional animosity and discrimination by perpetrating a gross injustice against the people of Srinagar who have weathered the brunt of the floods in 2014 and the turmoil in 2016. Rather than focussing on providing an impetus to Srinagar after the devastation of 2014 and the economic stagnation of 2016, your Government has shocked us by openly showing its prejudice against Srinagar. This is totally unacceptable”, the NC General Secretary added.
“The first and foremost demand of public representatives from our party is that the Plan Size for Srinagar should be increased to the extent which has been provided for Jammu District”, he added.
“The combined population of both Reasi and Kathua Districts is around 9 lakhs and the plan size of both districts is 300 crores and it is proposed as 313 crores for 2017-18. The population of Srinagar District is more than 11 lakhs and yet you have only allocated 100 crores for Srinagar District which consists of 8 assembly segments. We are not against any particular District’s development or the funds that are allocated to them and want every area to benefit from good governance and development but why are you discriminating against Srinagar? Facts and figures don’t lie and you need to answer and explain the basis of this discrimination”, the NC General Secretary further said during the District Development Board Meeting.
“Srinagar has witnessed remarkable infrastructural, economic and structural development during the successive tenures of Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Mr. Omar Abdullah as Chief Ministers of the State. They laid the edifice for Srinagar’s growth and development and ushered the city into an era of rapid growth and development. Now the ball is in your court and it doesn’t behove you to treat Srinagar with such contempt and disdain”, Sagar said while addressing the Chief Minister.
“The Government should concentrate on widening and expansion of road networks, housing sector by developing housing colonies and giving free plots to economically weaker sections as were given by Late Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and Dr. Farooq Abdullah. Your government should focus on promotion and safeguarding of heritage and religious tourism, development of civic amenities, on expansion of transportation and communication links, strengthening the sewerage and drainage system and the restoration of our water bodies which are pivotal for prospects of Tourism. Above all your Government should have focused on job-creating in Srinagar – as in other parts of the State as well – but sadly all we have seen till now are photo-ops and press statements – and that is no alternative for deliverance”, the NC General Secretary added.
On the announcement of an additionality in the Plan Size for Srinagar District, the NC General Secretary said – even with the additionality – the total plan size for Srinagar District was far lower than that of Jammu District and was not adequate or in proportion of its population and number of assembly segments. “We demand that you do justice with Srinagar and as the principal opposition party – we will hold your Government accountable against any injustice against Srinagar and its people and will keep demanding that all three regions of the State receive equal and equitable allocation of funds”, the NC General Secretary added.
The NC General Secretary submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister on this occasion highlighting the discrimination with Srinagar District and listing projects that were suffering due to Government’s inattention.

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