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 8, 2009

Gulmarg Headed Towards Disaster

Corruption generates another first: night-time construction

Vulgar Constructions mar Gulmarg

Tangmarg: World famous tourist destination, Gulmarg, is losing its charm due to the illegal encroachments and vulgar constructions going unabated despite a blanket ban imposed by Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA).

According to sources the constructions are taking place at an alarming speed despite restrictions by the Supreme Court and GDA.

Sources said that then Chief Executive Officer (CEO) GDA in and order bearing number GDA /08/1785/94, issued on December 31, 2008 had banned al kind of constructions within the Wild Life Sanctuary as per Supreme Court directions and thus the constructions were banned in GUlmarg too which also falls under Wild Life Sanctuary.

However, of late, the constructions are going on unabated.

“The only difference is that construction works are carried during nights and not during days,” said a deputation of locals.

Bashir Ahmad Mir, president of Gulmarg Mazdoor Union, while expressing serious concern over the vandalization of Gulmarg said that people of the area will give any sacrifice to save Gulmarg.

“We don’t want Gulmarg to be transformed into a jungle of concrete,” Mir said adding, Gulmarg Bachao Committee will raise voice and ensure that all these illegal constructions are stopped.
(Kashmir Images)

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