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 18, 2009

State Assembly Wakes up From its Slumber to Save Dal and Nigeen

It is that classic case of doing too little, too late

Efforts needed to save Dal, Nigeen lakes’

Srinagar: Stressing on the urgent need to save water-bodies including Dal and Nigeen lake, Chairman Environment Committee (EC), Legislative Assembly, Nizam-u-Din Bhat said more efforts are needed to put an end to pollution, construction of houses, growth of weeds, mushrooming of vegetable gardens and occurrence of azolia in these lakes.

Bhat said Dal and Nigeen lakes are national assets and natural beauty of the valley is incomplete without these lakes. He was addressing a high level officers meeting here on Tuesday after inspection of ongoing restoration and development works under execution in these two lakes.

Members of the Committee which include legislators Nasir Alsam Wani, Radhay Sham Sharma, Rafi Ahmad Mir, Shamima Firdous, Durga dass, Javid Ahmad Dar, Peerzada Mansoor Hussain, Sukhnandan Kumar, Indu Pawar, Baldev Raj and Mushtaq Ahmad Shah and senior officers which include Commissioner/Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department Mrs. Naseema Lankar, Chairman Pollution Control Board Lal Chand, Joint Commissioner of SMC, Tufail Matoo and Chief Engineer UEED, Ashwani Kumar Sharma accompanied the Chairman during his visit.

Expressing his concern over the attempts to encroach and spoil the ecology of these lakes, Nizam-ud-Din said that with generous flow of funds and expertise available, these lakes could be restored to their pristine glory.

Referring to the Environment Committee constituted for the purpose, Nizam-ud-Din said that this committee shall leave no stone unturned in identifying the reasons of degradation of environment in and around these lakes and also shall submit a comprehensive report with tangible suggestions to the government so that it is in a position to take stringent measures for restoration of these lakes within the shortest possible time.

Earlier, Chairman inspected functioning of Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) at Nishat Laam and STP, Hazratbal.

Later, Vice Chairman LAWDA, Irfan Yasin gave a power point presentation at Nigeen Club about the works under execution in Dal and Nigeen lakes.

(Rising Kashmir)

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