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AN OPEN LETTER TO HON’BLE GOVERNOR OF JK

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Respected Sir,

By: Aajaz Dar

Kashmir is in distress and pain; the people are suffering on all the fronts. The absence of an elected government in the state makes things more difficult and hopeless. However, your appointment as the governor of the State fills the void to a great extent. Under the circumstances appointment of an experienced and capable administrator as the Governor of the State is the best thing that could have happened. Your track record, and your previous assignments, prove your worth as an able and efficient administrator and governor.

Few days of your Governorship are clear signs that you mean business, efficiency and accountability of the administration. Your working in this initial phase has multiplied expectations from you. The fulfilment of these expectations, I know, is your primary objective.

I belong to Tral area which has a high literacy rate.  But Tral, like any other area of the state, has its share of problems and people of this area look towards you for the solution and resolution of all those problems with keen eyes. Besides the problems that the people of the entire area face, there are some of them which bother only the people outside, adjacent, to the main town of Tral.

One of them is the road connectivity. On account of lack of efficient road connectivity the people living in the villages adjacent to Tral Town suffer dearly. And towards that direction the government had decided to construct Pashtuna-Khrew road which could join these villages to Khrew and Pampore without passing through the congested Tral Town. It will not only benefit the people of Tral, but will become an alternate route between Srinagar and Anantnag. However, because of apathy of administration this road awaits forest clearance for last more than three years. With an estimated cost of 16 crore construction the Whabsab Shar to Tral stretch of the road began in the year 2015 but the reluctance of the Forest Department in granting the clearance has marred the project.

Benefits, and objectives, of constructing the road are many and multiple besides providing easy and better connectivity to around 50 villages of Tral. The aim of the project was also to revive the old Mughal route along the foothills of picturesque Vastoorvun Mountains which could have opened doors of tourism in the area and could have provided employment opportunities to a large number of otherwise jobless youth. It could have even helped towards contributing to improve the economy of the state to a great extent.

Already the road has missed many deadlines and it seems that the people of the area have to wait for much more time before the project gets completed, if it ever gets completed. There are unnecessary hurdles erected in way of completed of the project, man of the hurdles could be easily removed if there is administrative will.

The matter has been referred many times to the higher ups in the administration and the political executive in the previous government but nothing concrete has come out of that. The concerned officers and departments pass the blame and nothing else is done.

Another reason, and a main one, for the delay, and halt, in the project is the attitude and opposition of many people and groups of the main town of Tral. As the road bypasses the Tral Town, these people with vested and personal parochial interests, feel that their business and interests might get adversely hit. They never want the people outside the town to enjoy all the modern facilities of road connectivity and transportation. They never want us to grow as they are doing and want to keep us in perpetual backwardness so that their coffers keep filling. The painful thing is that the higher ups in the administration fall prey to the evil designs of these people with vested interests.

Now, if anybody can ensure fresh initiation and completion of the road in time, it is none other than you. People of the area have high hopes from you. They know that an administrator and head of the government of your caliber only can provide them the long cherished respite.

It is as such requested to you that kingly look into the matter and all aspects of the projects. Please see what are the reasons and who are the people stalling this very important project that could ensure multiple benefits to the people of the area and the state at large. Please ensure the deliverance of clearance by the Forests Department to the Roads and Building Department within shortest possible time.

I can assure you that the project does not disrupt too much of environment. The deforestation that will take place by the construction of the road can be taken care of by a fresh drive of plantation by the Forest Department on the available land in the forests. The people of this area need this road desperately. Hope they are not disappointed this time. The next time I write to you, hope it will be a letter of thanks and appreciation.

Aajaz Dar (aajazdar@rediffmail.com)

Laam Tral

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