Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

If Past History is any Guide, More Money for Ecology in Kashmir Translates into More Money in a few Bank Accounts of State Officials

There is neither lack of money nor lack of plans, Kashmir mostly lacks the will of purpose

Rs 98 cr plan on wetlands submitted to centre


Srinagar: A comprehensive plan of Rs 98 crore for preservation of 24 natural water bodies and wetlands of J&K has been submitted to the central government for approval.

This was revealed by Commissioner-Secretary General Administration department, Basharat Ahmad in his inaugural address at the 5-day long training workshop on ‘Wetland preservation and management’ at SKICC here today. Exuding confidence that nod to this ambition project will be accorded soon, he said all of us have to put in our best to preserve and conserve the water resources which play a pivotal role in maintaining ecological balance.

The workshop has been organized by the Union Ministry of Environment an Forests in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun and state Wildlife Protection department. Wetland managers from Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi are participating in the workshop. Union Secretary, Environment and Forests Ms. Meena Gupta was the chief guest at the function. Present among others were Director Union Ministry of Environment and Forests Dr. S. Koul, Chief Wildlife Warden A.K. Srivastava and other central and state officers.

Addressing the workshop, Union Secretary, Environment and Forests said that the workshop which was to be organized at Dehradun was decided to be held at Srinagar keeping in view the abundance of wetlands and waterbodies available in Jammu and Kashmir. He expressed hope that the state government would leave no stone unturned to ensure preservation and conservation of world famous Dal lake and other water bodies, for which central government would provide adequate funds. He said the water bodies in Kashmir are major source of attraction for tourists also.

On the occasion, the speakers highlighted the importance of preservation of wetlands adding these are vuluable assets as these constitute the habitat of hundreds of water birds besides being the eco friendly and increasing food production.

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