Discrimination against Chenab, Pir Panchal results in road deaths: KCSDS

Srinagar

Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) on Monday blamed the state and central governments for fatal road accidents that frequently occur in the hilly districts in Chenab and Pirpanchal regions of Jammu division due to discrimination and inequitable development of these districts.

File image of KCSDS members

A spokesman said that condolence meeting of KCSDS was held in Srinagar to mourn more than 35 deaths in the tragic accident in Kishtwar and the fatal injuries to dozens more.

While expressing shock and grief over the loss of precious lives in this accident,  the members accused the governments of ignoring the districts of Chenab valley and Pirpanchal in creating a necessary infrastructure of dependable and wide roads.

“Most of the developmental funds in Jammu division are allocated to just 3-4 districts in blatant discrimination with these underdeveloped districts.  The members observed that of late allocations for creation of infrastructure were being approved by GOI with specific locations in a bid to appease and garner votes from a particular section of the society. They further observed that the governments were least interested in augmenting the road infrastructure in these areas in spite of the frequent loss of lives on them as it doesn’t serve the ‘defence purposes’ but caters exclusively to the civilian population.

KCSDS urges the state government to come up with a white paper on the loss of thousands of lives in Chenab and Pirpanchal regions because of the dilapidated unsafe roads over the past several decades. The deliberate negligence towards creating credible and dependable roads in these regions call for their autonomous governance different from the current system. In this regard, the demand for creation of independent regional councils for these districts is of utmost importance. KCSDS supports such regional hill councils for both Chenab and Pirpanchal regions on the pattern of Ladakh Hill Council in order to ensure equitable growth and development.

While conveying heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families on the loss of their dear ones, KCSDS has demanded adequate compensation to the immediate relatives of the deceased.

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