by Yawar Hussain
SRINAGAR: Three Kashmir-based political parties—National Conference, Peoples Conference and Apni Party—are claiming credit for three culverts connecting the Mehdi Chowk area of Saida Kadal to the Karam Shah Sahib area in the Dal interiors.
The area, now part of the Zadibal assembly segment, turned a political pitch for these parties soon after the government sanctioned the bridge which has been long pending demand of the area.
Former Zadibal lawmaker and Peoples Conference leader Abid Ansari was the first one to claim credit citing that his meeting with Lt Governor Manoj Sinha bore fruit leading to the sanctioning of the three bridges including this one.
“@JKPC_leader Mr @Abid__Ansari expresses his gratitude to Honourable LG Mr @manojsinha_ Ji for floating the tender for 3 Steel Bridges connecting Dal with the main road. This issue was taken up by Mr Abid Ansari with LG Sahab before Muharram,” Abid Ansari tweeted.
With Ansari’s claim, SMC Mayor and Apni Party Youth Wing President Junaid Azim Mattu jumped in by invoking Hazrat Imam (AS) to claim that his former PC colleague (Ansari) was lying.
“A person can never find the true taste of faith until he abandons lying, both serious and humorous-(Imam Ali A.S),” Mattu wrote while retweeting Ansari’s tweet with a smiling emoticon.
Mattu has been extensively visiting the area indicating his aspirations to contest the future assembly election from the area.
However, the claim game on culverts didn’t end with the duo as NC’s chief spokesperson and Zadibal assembly segment in-charge Tanvir Sadiq put out documents and a video claiming that it was party president and parliamentarian Dr Farooq Abdullah’s efforts which made the government sanction the bridges for the area.
In the video, Sadiq went further claiming that Dr Abdullah wrote on the demand for a Fire Station inside the area following his visit earlier in June.
“On behalf of the people of Zadibal constituency especially Mir Behri Dal, I express sincere gratitude to the MP Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah Sb, Aga Mehmood Sb & Aga Ruhullah Sb for fulfilling the long pending demand of the people of Dal Interiors by providing funds for procurement of two mini fire tender vehicles for Dal MirBehri under MPLADS. Construction of bridges between Mehdi Chowk, Saida Kadal to Karam Shah Sahib under local area development scheme and also a fire station,” Sadiq wrote on Twitter.
Sadiq, like Mattu, his former NC colleague, has also been visiting the area frequently in anticipation of the assembly elections which haven’t taken place since 2014 in Jammu and Kashmir.
While the political parties claim credit, the culverts are in tendering stage after which construction work and completion is usually a time-consuming issue in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, an official spokesman said the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole on December 20, 2022, convened a meeting of officers to review the progress of a comprehensive plan for the development of five hamlets as model villages in Dal Lake, which will be replicated for other 34 villages with the passage of time.
Pertinently, the Divisional administration had proposed various initiatives to help the people of Dal Lake in adopting sustainable livelihood, developing tourism infrastructure and bringing those hamlets on the map of the tourism circuit.
While reviewing the Department wise progress, Pole exhorted officers to expedite the implementation of proposed plans and schemes pertaining to concerned departments. Pole asked VC LCMA to utilize machines for cleaning and widening of navigation channels besides he was asked to complete the construction of a centralized Sewage Treatment Plant.
Floriculture Department was asked to convert the land, which has been made available after relocating some households to other places for public parks.
“Showing the serious concern regarding the use of Gillnet by locals in model villages which reduce the quantity of fish in water, Div Com asked all the concerned officers to enforce the complete ban on the use of Gillnet,” the spokesman said.
The Director of Handicrafts informed that his department has eighteen craft centres in the Dal area, which help locals earn a livelihood.