SRINAGAR – Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron – Mufti Mohammad Sayeed – Tuesday said the Srinagar city can’t remain aloof from the winds of change sweeping the State and the larger participation of its emancipated residents in polls would add credibility and prestige to the democratic process.
In a statement he said, “Srinagar being the intellectual and political nerve centre of the State cannot remain aloof from the urge for change that is sweeping J&K and the active participation of Srinagar in the political process for change will add credibility and prestige to it,” Mufti said while addressing a public meeting in Hazratbal constituency here to enlist support for the party candidate Asiya Naqash.
Mufti said the aloofness of Srinagar from democratic process has resulted in political dis-empowerment of its people which has led its beneficiaries to take them for granted. “Elect your representatives through vote and then make them accountable and see how things will start improving,” he said and added that the people of Srinagar owe it to themselves and fellow countrymen, not to let their power to determine the State’s destiny be used by default by any party for indulging in exploitative politics.
“I am sure the realization has dawned on the citizens of Srinagar that by remaining aloof from the political and democratic processes, they are causing more harm to themselves than anybody else,” Mufti said and added let that not happen this time. He urged the youth of Srinagar to get actively involved in political decision-making to ensure empowerment of the enterprising young population of the city, who have become worst victims of the repression let loose on them by the NC-Congress coalition regime.
Mufti said unfortunately Srinagar city has always remained victim of the NC’s systematic neglect and misrule and the party has been only exploiting the historical city for its political gains. “The urban chaos and underdevelopment which the city is facing is all because of the rulers who have been calling it their safety structure and safe house,” he said and added that Srinagar, the summer capital of J&K, hardly gives a feel of any modern city and there is chaos everywhere because of the NC’s misrule and mismanagement.
Mufti said there is an urgency to develop Srinagar on modern lines especially in the wake of the devastation caused by September floods. “PDP would not only take up the challenge of rebuilding Srinagar as a Smart City with planned infrastructure like roads, flyovers, drainage network and other basic amenities, but would ensure the financial and social security of its residents as well,” he said and added that the focus of the post-flood rehabilitation in Srinagar would be on rebuilding of the city’s economy and restoration of the livelihood of its people.
Mufti said unfortunately NC has been able to limit the development discourse in Srinagar to lanes and drains only. He said power scenario is grim here, and in the present cold conditions people have to suffer because of the lack of alternate sources of energy.
Mufti said during PDP’s brief tenure in the government the party went for major developmental initiatives in the summer capital which include four-laning of bypass road, construction of flyover, beautification of Jhelum embankments, development of Eidgah, reconstruction of Aali Masjid, reforms in the power system and various other major initiatives were taken and completed during PDP’s tenure. He said other initiatives included setting up of Urban Haat, establishing Craft Development Institution, Indian Institute of Carpet Technology, Common Facility Centre and Institute of Design Development in the city for promotion of the handicrafts.
Mufti said Srinagar has to be built into a modern city without destroying its heritage. He said PDP has a vision to develop Srinagar in a manner that tourists feel attracted to prolong their stay here and go round not just Dal lake and Mughal Gardens but tour the interiors of the city to see its distinct life, culture and heritage. He said such a planned development will create immense opportunities of growth for the youth of the city.
Urging preservation of natural assets like the Dal lake and Nigeen, Mufti said without landmarks like these the city could not imagine itself. While the PDP government got the Rs 300 Crore Dal development project sanctioned from Government of India and constructed drainage with STPs around the lake, the present government put all these initiatives on backburner.
Stressing the need for women empowerment, Mufti said the Coalition Government headed by PDP took certain radical measures towards the political, economic and social empowerment of the women starting with reserving 33 per cent seats in the local bodies for them. He said the involvement of the women in the political decision making and developmental initiatives at the grassroots level has proved effective given their impressive performance on the ground like Ms Naqash.
Asiya Naqash, the PDP candidate for Hazratbal constituency, Adbul Hameed, G M Dar, Mohammad Ashraf Gangoo were also present on the occasion.