SRINAGAR: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah faced criticism after he shared an image depicting soil erosion in a region of the country following heavy rainfall.
The National Conference vice-president attributed the situation to government apathy and deliberate negligence, highlighting the permitting of large structures on unstable terrain along hillsides.
Years of Govt apathy and wilful ignorance while multi-storey concrete structures were built on unstable hillsides has lethal consequences. Who thought these buildings were a good idea? All hill states need to be mindful of the growing impact of climate change & enforce building… pic.twitter.com/ITCXyfxjan
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) August 16, 2023
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Omar said, “Years of government apathy and deliberate ignorance while allowing the construction of multi-storey concrete buildings on unstable hillsides result in grave consequences. Who approved these constructions in the first place? Hill states must consider the escalating effects of climate change and enforce appropriate building codes,” he stated.
He supplemented his message with a brief video showcasing the collapse of a four-storey structure due to soil erosion on a hillside.
However, social media users were quick to remind Omar of his own history of setting aside environmental regulations for construction projects in various parts of the former state.
One user remarked, “While your discussion here is appreciated, the National Conference’s environmental track record is far from commendable. Your party was responsible for clearing acres of forest land to establish a golf course catering to the wealthy and privileged in the heart of Srinagar,” wrote Nasrun in response to Omar’s tweet.
Another commentator predicted a similar scenario in Jammu and Kashmir: “The fate that this video illustrates will likely be mirrored in Kud, Ramsu, Patnitop, and comparable locales,” ND Wani posted.
A different person urged Omar to reflect on the issue: “Indeed, you must exercise caution when dealing with NHPC and other corporations in the Chenab region. Indirectly, your emphasis leans towards haphazard infrastructure development over sustainable progress. Hopefully, you will glean valuable insights,” penned Wamiq Mujtaba.
Dharamvir Singh Dahiya, yet another online user, questioned the former CM about his contributions to environmental preservation: “Could you please elucidate the number of regulations and laws you established during your tenure as CM of J&K? What about the Roshni Act? What about the occupation of forest land in Jammu…?”