Take Two

With Mufti’s second inning as Kashmir’s CM already underway, the focus is on the deliverance of promises made during the elections campaigns. The new government, despite some initial hiccups, has shown willingness and energy to do and undo things that are expected from them. Politics and pestering apart, can PDP-BJP alliance undo the mistakes of six-years of mis-governance that previous government has left behind, is a question that everybody seems to seek answers to. In last six years of NC-Congress rule, the last thing that government took care of was basic needs of the people like providing basic infrastructure needs of water, electricity, and good roads.

These things might look petty in comparison to what Kashmir has gone through in last two-and-half decades of conflict, but they are as vital for a common man’s existence. These small things like water woes, electricity issues, and bad road connectivity, hits a common man the most as these things are directly connected with their livelihood issues.

Small business establishments or cottage industries are closing down at an alarming rate for want of uninterrupted electricity. Bad roads add costs to the transfer of goods and services from one place to another. In water abundant Kashmir, dry taps have left people at the mercy of unhygienic sources like pounds, rivulets etc. And the most pressing issue that seems to have escaped from ruler’s attention for long is the lack of basic health care facilities in rural areas. Imagine a pregnant lady travelling a distance of 60 kilometres or more to reach valley’s lone maternity hospital in Srinagar in the dead of the night on a road that is everything but smooth. The simple thing that government can do to ease the pain is by providing health care facilities in areas that are far off and remote.

These small interventions, which do not need huge money to implement, will work wonders for the new government in gaining the lost trust of people. It will rather ease pressure on the capital city of Srinagar that is already over burdened because of lack of facilities elsewhere. There is need to develop infrastructure in such a way that it is accessible easily to the people living far away from capital city.

A common man hardly cares about your political rhetoric or brownie points that you intended to score over your opponents in the battle of ideas of ideology. All they care about is how their immediate surroundings respond to their basic needs that are vital for living a hassle free life.

If a government fails in providing these basic necessities, and make changes that reflect in a person immediate surroundings, then there would always be resentment and disconnect between the people and their representatives. And one must not forget that political fates changes every six years in Kashmir.

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