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, October 16, 2008

A real human rights challenge: Providing safe drinking water in all 10 districts of the Kashmir region

Good news- Government has just announced such a plan

Rs 244-cr project to boost water supply

Srinagar: In order to provide safe drinking water to people of the valley, the government has taken up upgradation of 167 ongoing water supply schemes in all 10 districts of Kashmir division.
The Public Health Engineering Department has taken up a project to providepotable water to the uncovered population of the division at a cost of Rs 244crore, an official said.

The department had already spent Rs 146 crore on such schemes during the past financial year and planned to provide safe drinking water to 7.25 lakh persons in 624 villages in the current fiscal, the official said, adding that Rs 48 crore was being spent on the upgradation of 38 water supply schemes.

In Srinagar district, the work on three water supply schemes for covering anadditional population of 33,466 in 19 villages at a cost of Rs 1.22 crore wasunder way along with the upgradation work of two schemes for providingpotable drinking water facility to 1.41 lakh persons of Budgam district at acost of Rs 6.69 crore, he said.

He said Rs 8.75 crore was being spent on five schemes to cover one lakh persons of 108 villages in Pulwama district.

Besides, Rs 10.94 crore was being incurred on three water schemes to benefit 1.59 lakh additional persons of 99 villages in Baramulla district and Rs 4.61 crore on five schemes to cover 70,000 persons of 70 villages in Kupwara district.

In Bandipora district the upgradation work on four schemes at a cost of Rs 3.58 crore for providing safe drinking water to 60,000 additional population of 58 villages was also in progress, he added. —

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