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.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tulip Garden - The New Money Minting Machine

A report in the Kashmir Times describes the nefarious nexus between Floriculture Department and Contractors

Tulip Garden a Boon for Officials

D S Ahmad

Srinagar: Besides becoming a main attraction for the tourists since last few years, tulip garden, has allegedly become a white elephant for some officials concerned.

Sources said that the top officers of the floriculture department, developing and maintaining the garden have discovered a money minting machine out of the garden.

They said the officials of the department are intentionally causing delay in sowing the bulbs to benefit the blue eyed contractors.

“Scientifically the ripe time for sowing the tulips is November but the concerned officials deliberately cause delay in the process to give benefits to their favourite contractors," sources said.

They said the late sowing of the tulips affect the proper propagation of the plant which paves way for the officials to invite tenders for the purchase of new tulips every year.

"If a tulip of a good quality is sown at the proper time it can produce seven to eight bulblets. But the officials in nexus with some contractors deliberately start the sowing process late by one month or more. They know that the tulips if sown late can badly affect the propagation of the plant and will not produce any bulblet," said the sources.

An official in the floriculture department said that the concerned officials do not follow the proper scientific procedure with regard to sowing and other processes.

" If deliberately ignore following the proper procedure as they know by doing so they will not require to invite the tenders for importing new tulips," he said.

He added that the department through the contract mafia imported 10 lakh tulips in 2008, 8 lakhs in 2009 and four lakhs this year.

"Had the officials followed the proper procedure for the healthy propagation of the plant they would not have required to purchase new tulips every year. They have not been able to produce a single bulblet and then store it for the future use," said another official wishing anonymity.

Attributing the delay in sowing of tulips to the summer unrest from last three consecutive years, Incharge officer, Tulip garden, Javed Ahmad Shah told Kashmir Times," No doubt the ripe season for sowing the tulip is November but the summer unrest during last three years led to the delay in sowing the tulips."

On charges of ignoring the proper procedure deliberately to benefit the blue eyed contractors Shah said," A tulip needs a proper infra-structure and conducive atmosphere like fertile soil and weather for the proper production. But we lack everything here. In the poor atmosphere that we have in Kashmir we can not even produce 3-4 bulblets from the tulip."

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