Asking the people to shape their future by getting connected with peace- and development-loving forces,Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday asked the people of the state not to get exploited by “dream merchants”,in an apparent reference to separatists.
“The dream merchants have sold many dreams to the people without filling colour to any of them… People have to decide how long they could wait for peace and prosperity,” Omar said at a rally in Baramulla’s Sopore town,considered to be a separatist stronghold. He laid the foundation stone of the Rs 13.68-crore Mahrajpora bridge in the town,50 kms from here.
In the past 25 years,the state has witnessed economic distress due to peace disturbance,putting everything in a
shambles and skyrocketing the unemployment rate.
“We do not compel you to have same thought as is being nurtured by us for development and peace,but at the same time we want you to take home the fact that development process cannot be put to back burner for all the times to come,” Omar said,urging people to take the right decision.
Referring to the lack of development in Sopore,hometown of hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani,he said,”This is because the people of the town during the past 25 years were kept out of the ambit of peace and development.”
“Instead of showcasing historic features of Sopore,its natural wealth,scenic beauty and world famous apple,this
town has been introduced as the resort of violence,militancy,stone-pelting and peace disturbance,” he said.
“It was my desire to address you here and make you aware of the losses you and your progeny are being put by negative politics and ask you to rise to the occasion and decide for yourself to make your destiny brighter and prosperous,” the Chief Minister said,disclosing that for lasting disturbance in Sopore,the security agencies were not in favour of him holding the public meeting in the town.
“But,ignoring the advisory,I am talking to you frankly
because you are as dear to me as the rest of the people of the state,” he said.
Omar said despite the negative politics,his government
took all measures to ensure equitable growth in this northern town of Kashmir,known for its horticulture produce. He said 35 water supply schemes have been launched in the town to provide drinking water facility to the people.
A sum of Rs 35 crore are being spent on drainage and sewerage works while two projects have been launched to
upgrade power system and six schemes are being implemented in the irrigation sector besides macadamising about 40 roads,he said,adding that 300 unemployed qualified youth have been appointed ‘Rahbar-e-Taileem’ (teachers) in Sopore.