Srinagar: The Political & Economic Center Of Kashmir: Baig

KL Report

SRINAGAR

 Asserting that Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, has always been the center of spiritual, political, administrative, economic activities, senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig Sunday said that a visionary development plan with sensitivity towards preservation of heritage was need of the hour.

“We have to be heritage sensitive, when we talk about development of a city, which has been a center of knowledge and a meeting point of cultures. We can’t overlook the cultural and social heritage and at the same time we have to come out with a plan which meets the requirement of people of the capital city”, Baig said while addressing a party convention of Hazratbal constituency here.

 Srinagar, he said, is in most ways one of the oldest living cities of the world. “Srinagar has its own place in the history of the sub continent and the heritage build over the centuries add to the glory of this capital city, adding, “The city heritage has been placed on watch list, as a threatened heritage, by the World Monument Fund which itself speaks volumes about the fact that we have never been sensitive towards our own heritage”.

 “Being a capital city, Srinagar has distinct features like mountains, forest, lakes and gardens. However, unfortunately till now the so called Master Plans have only added to the chaos and miseries of the people due to the lack of vision”, he said adding that the development of the city with special focus on preservation of its historic value and heritage shall be the prime focus of his party, which will strive hard for achieving its goal.

Srinagar, he said, has been facing severe pressure of amenities because of the increasing population, urbanization and tourist inflow. “There has to be a mega plan for its development but the plan must be futuristic, heritage sensitive and visionary. Baig said that the unemployment has been one of the major concerns for the city residents as over the years the problems has grown many folds for various reasons.

 “The city was once a center of learning, craft and industry but by the change in time the young generation here has been facing peculiar problem at employment front”, he said adding, “We need to have a special targeted oriented employment programme with special focous on revival of traditional skill development”.

Baig targeted the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for his “anti-PDP tirade” in order to hide his own “misdeeds and failures.”

 “We are being criticized for boycotting the recent session of the state legislature over hanging of Afzal Guru and failure of the state government on all fronts, including this one”, the PDP leader said adding, “He (Omar) wanted us to be part of his historic blunder, a move, which he himself has admitted to change the very mindset our generations”. Baig said that the Chief Minister has himself trivialized the institutions like the State Assembly and left no options for the PDP but to boycott the proceedings of the legislature.  “We were compelled to stay out of the House as he (Omar) himself failed to uphold the dignity of the institution. He failed to stand for the people of the state and above all he failed to stand for himself”. The PDP leader said that his party waited till the Union Home Minister himself rejected the demand to return the remains of Afzal Guru to his family. “It was his (CM’s) duty to convince the government of India. He has himself admitted his failure but now he wanted to make people believe that PDP failed to raise issues of concerns in the House. The Chief Minister must himself explain as what he has achieved for the people, especially for his own constituency, during the session”. Baig further said that it was on record that the Chief Minister himself attending the business of the House only after PDP announced its boycott from the House.

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