Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti, Wednesday said that her party would pay a special focus to providing basic amenities to the people the lack of which has resulted in general discomfort but has hit the women folk the most, a party statement said.
Addressing a number of wayside meetings in Pampore constituency of Pulwama district, she said whether it is lack of drinking water, specialized healthcare or education, the women folk have to face the maximum fallout of the absence of adequate amenities.
Mehbooba said, “if PDP receives a decisive mandate, the specific problems facing Pampore constituency would receive a focused attention to bring it up on the scale of development by harnessing the immense potential it has in agriculture, horticulture and tourism.”
“It was unfortunate that the state had not been able to leverage the inherent distinction of Pampore, of being rare saffron growing area for its overall development of the area. Neither had the rich heritage and cultural assets of Pampore been adequately developed or showcased to help generate employment for local youth,” she said.
The PDP Chief said, “Wherever, I travelled through the constituency she felt that in spite of abundance of water resources, drinking water was the scarcest commodity in majority of the villages. People especially the women had to trek long distances to fetch water for use in the kitchen and for other daily needs. This was also making the people vulnerable for water borne diseases,” she added.
Mehbooba said the lack of health infrastructure was adversely affecting the people and forcing them to seek medical assistance in Srinagar, the statement informed.
She said at many places women complained of non-availability of lady doctors and women paramedics, which in our traditional society proves even fatal at times for women, who generally shy away from male medical staff, the statement quoted PDP president further said.
Mehbooba said the government education system has been subverted and would need a massive effort to bring it back on the rails so that the state could get the returns for massive investment made in the sector, so that it was able to produce employable students with quality education and skills.
Mehbooba said urgent measures need to be taken to revive saffron industry which in spite of liberal assistance from Government of India continues to suffer a kind of degeneration. She said much of the valuable land under saffron cultivation is being lost to rampant and unplanned constructions and land mafia which is changing the very character and topography of the world famous Karewas.
Emphasizing the need for promoting Pampore as a tourist destination, she said places like Awantipora, Shar-Shali, Konibal, Mondekpal, Ladhoo etc., could become hubs of heritage and other tourism activities.
Similarly, she said, “wayside facilities need to be developed to promote highway tourism which could generate jobs and improve the overall image of tourism sector in the state.”
Mehbooba said PDP, with a decisive mandate in the next elections, will carry forward the initiatives of establishing educational institutions like Islamic University and Science and Technology (IUST) at Awantipora.
She said Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has a vision about this university to become an institution of excellence that could help a great deal in reviving the Kashmir’s credentials as a knowledge society and exceptional skills.