The people of Jammu and Kashmir have first right on the water which flows through the state, this was stated by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, patron Peoples Democratic Party, while addressing a Kissan conference at Bishnah on Thursday.
While reiterating his demand of early completion of the Shahpur Kandi project to improve socio-economic conditions of the farmers of Jammu region, Mufti said the delay in completion of this project has badly affect the farming community of State. He regretted, “farmers from different states are taking benefit of the Ranjit Sagar project but farmers of Jammu and Kashmir, who have high stakes in the project, are deprived for their genuine share”.
The PDP patron said that Jammu and Kashmir has huge natural resource in the form of water and it is on the top of party’s agenda to utilize this natural resource for the socio-economic growth of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Expressing his concern over shrinking of agricultural land, PDP patron said that his party has repeatedly asked the government to bring a Bill in the Assembly to impose ban on utilization of agriculture for commercial purposes. “I don’t know why this government is hesitating to bring the Bill?” he said, adding, “UPA Government has decided to bring a Bill in the next session of the Parliament on acquisition of agriculture land to ensure complete rehabilitation of farmers whose land would be acquired for different purposes”.
Mufti expressed surprise that R S Pura and Bishnah areas are considered as rice bowl of Jammu and Kashmir but the government has not formulated any comprehensive policy for the marketing of the world famous Basmati being produced in this belt. “We will agitate for the demands of the farmers to set adequate procurement centres for purchasing Basmati on reasonable prices”, he said.
Earlier in the Kissan Conference a resolution was passed by the participants. Besides other demands, Conference also demanded that support price of the Basmati should not be less than Rs 4500 per quintals, crops insurance scheme for farmers, free power to farmers, reservation for wards of farmers in technical educational institutions and government jobs etc.
But for the ruling government Sayeed said, “National Conference led coalition regime is total failure. Their decision to cancel Block Development Council elections at the eleventh hour was nothing but a cruel joke with the people who had voted in large number with a hope that strong Panchayati Raj system would be established in the State”.