The lack of development in Kashmir is disheartening for its youths and citizens. National Conference former minister, MLA Ali Muhammad Sagar attributed this to the shortage of funds by the Central Government. “The law and order situation in Kashmir is also to blame for the lack of development.”
MLA Sagar said Kashmir had also been inflicted with fewer employment opportunities for the youths and bad infrastructure. Kashmir is also in need of industries to boost its struggling economy.
“There is economic potential in Kashmir but unfortunately, it is not being fully utilized. Water resources are plentiful but not tapped into.”
Kashmir’s water features are the principal components in its scenic beauty. MLA Sagar said Kashmir has a good amount of power projects. Earlier this year, an assessment made by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) revealed that J&K had the potential to produce about 16,475 MW of hydropower.
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MLA Sagar said, “there is also economic potential in the agriculture sector. With the development of the national highway and the rail-lines, transport has become easier for the farmers.”
It should be noted that the state of J&K is divided into three regions: Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. Rice is the chief crop in Kashmir. Kashmir also depends on tourism but the ongoing turmoil has left its impact.
What Needs to Be Done
MLA Sagar said a Kashmir-friendly approach should be taken. “The government has to take a pro-people and a pro-youth stand. Love and dialogue is the only solution.” He said the government should think out of the box. “Every government has talked about people’s engagement but nothing constructive came out. A people-friendly and youth-friendly policy should be adopted.”
The state and central governments also need to encourage investments in Kashmir. The government should provide better infrastructure and uninterrupted power supply to the people. Moreover, Kashmir’s tourism industry should be revamped. Doing so will open up direct and indirect employment.
The people should not be deprived of development. Kashmir needs a holistic approach.