In a just society, there are blueprints prepared for short and long term periods which are discussed, worked upon, and are completed in a time-bound manner which in turn benefits a community. There are plans made for Paddar Valley too.
We have listed Top 10 Objectives to achieve for Paddar which are paramount to the development of the area. What are they? Let us find out in this article.
1. Coronavirus Testing for Nomadic Population arriving in Paddar Valley
One of the supreme objectives Paddar needs to achieve during the Coronavirus pandemic is the testing and sanitization of the nomads.
With the onset of the summer season, the nomadic population usually head for green pastures towards the mountainous regions along with their herd. Paddar, being the mountainous region has been accepting the nomadic population wholeheartedly for ages.
Kishtwar District has remained unaffected from the pandemic so far. In fact, it is among the only few Green Zones of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir consequently all the credit goes to the District administration Kishtwar for doing a commendable job.
During these tough times of Corona Virus, it is equally important that the Paddar Valley area remains unscathed from the deadly virus. So, it is urged by the authorities in District Kishtwar that our nomad brothers and sisters are properly sanitized and screened at various checkpoints on the way to Paddar.
Listen to the concern aired on All India Radio, Jammu recently published on our Facebook Page
2. Completion of College Building & Sub-District Hospital at Atholi
The long-pending demand of Paddar community for College and Sub-District Hospital was fulfilled two years back during the infamous tenure of PDP-BJP allied government in the state.
The classes for the Degree College in Paddar Valley have already begun and the college is functioning in the School building at Atholi for the time being. We hope to see the land acquired at Atholi for the college premises take up shape as soon as possible.
As WHO describes health as an indicator of economic progress and happiness as healthy people tend to live longer and are more productive. We were granted Sub-District Hospital a few years back with much fanfare and we hope that the building is completed in a time-bound manner as the makeshift hospital cannot serve an entire sub-division.
3. Extraction of Sapphire Mines in Paddar
Paddar Sapphire is one of the purest forms of Sapphires in terms of its qualities of durability and beauty. The tasks for extraction of the Sapphire Mines were tendered before only to be awarded to the blue-eyed firms by the previous governments.
It may surprise you that there was one such incident where Mineworks Private Limited was awarded a joint venture partnership on 10/04/2013 to exploit and extract the Sapphire Mines of Paddar Valley which was incorporated just 5 days after the Expression of Interest was invited on 04/04/2013. So much for the transparency part in looting our wealth.
It is humbly prayed to the Governor of J&K that the process of extraction be started in a transparent and fair way so that the wealth generated be used in the welfare of the people of Paddar and J&K.
4. Filtration Plant in Paddar Valley
Astonishing as it may sound but the entire Paddar Sub-Division is made to consume water that is not treated. The tap water supplied by the PHE Department is not fit to drink as there have been numerous complaints of contaminated water coming straight to every home.
We on behalf of the people of Paddar Valley demand that the filtration plant be set up in Paddar so as to relieve the masses of water-borne diseases. It is the need of the hour that the Government of J&K needs to look into urgently.
5. Road Connectivity under PMGSY
Numerous Road projects were sanctioned and tendered out under the promising PMGSY scheme in Paddar Valley a few years back. The work was also started on a few of them but the work on these roads came to grinding halt last year due to reasons best known to the authorities. To add to the woes of common people of Paddar the Coronavirus has again affected the work this year. Some major roads that would bring Paddar Valley on the Tourism Map of Jammu and Kashmir were
- Gulabgarh to Machail
- Sohal to Kabban
- Sohal to Chitto
- Shwas to Gandhari
These roads are the hopes that Paddar Valley will develop as a major tourist spot of J&K and the financial condition of the area shall improve drastically when the lush green meadows and valleys are accessible for the world to see.
6. Micro Hydel Power Projects in Paddar
One of the untapped potentials of Paddar is its unutilized water resources. The hydropower projects refuse to take off in this part of the world due to unknown reasons despite the abundance of gushing water streams and waterfalls. One of the most talked-about Micro Hydel Power projects is Hanswar Project located in Village Hanswar near TattaPani. A few of the potential streams where micro hydro-projects can be set up in Paddar are the Bhot Nalla stream and Shandeeri Nallah in Sohal.
The functioning of just one Micro Hydel Project will suffice the electricity need of entire Paddar Valley which is prone to frequent electricity outages in the winter season. And we are not yet talking about the Major Dams like Kirthai I & Kirthai II on river Chenab which will meet the demand of the entire J&K.
7. Machail Mata Shrine Board
The annual Machail Yatra which started with few yatries in the ’80s has now swelled up in lakhs. The Machail Mata Yatra has the distinction of being one of the prestigious annual pilgrimages in J&K only after Amarnath Yatra.
The popularity if the Yatra has reached different shores of the country and with it comes the huge responsibility of managing the same. The official Management of the Yatra “Sarv Shakti Sarv Sanstha” which manages the Yatra has officially recommended constituting the Machail Mata Shrine Board which will look after all the affairs of the Machail Mata Sanstha.
The Machail Yatra Sanstha marred with various controversies has already been taken over by the Government of J&K headed by Divisional Commissioner Jammu. The PIL stands filed at High Court Jammu regarding constituting Machail Mata Shrine Board. The sooner it is constituted the better it would be for the welfare of the pilgrims visiting Machail Mata in Paddar Valley.
8. Tourism promotion by Tourism Department
One of the most beautiful places and highly ignored by the successive Governments over the years in the Jammu region is Sub-Division Paddar. The beauty of Paddar Valley is not less than any of the spots in Kashmir. The lush green meadows, waterfalls, river streams are waiting to be explored but the Tourism Department has no place to showcase Paddar in its list of tourist spots other than Machail Mata Shrine during the month of August.
Paddar can develop as a major skiing destination, a white river rafting destination, paragliding destination in Jammu and the possibility is nearly endless only when the J&K Tourism Department promotes it in the state and outside coupled with the support of the Government of India in developing the area.
9. 100% Electrification of all Villages in Paddar Valley
As strange as it may sound but there is still an entire Panchayat of Paddar in the year 2020 where electricity is a distant dream. We are talking about the remotest Panchayat of Gandhari where people are still living in a dark age due to the non-availability of electricity and road.
In order to hush things up and mark the job as complete in the Government files a Genset was provided in one of the villages of Gandhari during August 2018 which only functioned for that month and is lying defunct ever since to date.
Check Pictures of Gandhari
The Government might pat their back on achieving 100% electrification in India but the reality is far different on ground. There is no media coverage over the government apathy and no urgency to provide electricity in the far off village of Paddar which has boundaries with Himachal Pradesh.
Unlike their neighbors in Pangi of Himachal Pradesh which has progressed by leaps and bounds, we the people of Paddar are still begging for basic amenities when we should be demanding it from the Government.
10. Completion of Atholi Gulabgarh Bridge
The immediate and one of the easiest and longest pending projects in Paddar Valley is the Atholi-Gulabgarh Bridge which has become a joke on the face of the Governments for 15 years almost. The foot over bridge which will reduce the distance from Atholi to Gulabgarh to under 100 meters from the present 3 Kms is under construction for more than a decade.
It should be highly embarrassing for the present and past Governments that such a minor job has taken ages to complete and people are made to suffer over the years. We hope this job is accomplished under the new UT regime this year.
Nearly half of the year has already been wasted due to the Corona Virus Pandemic and the necessary lockdown measure to contain the spread. It has badly affected the developmental activities around the globe and hence is showing its adverse effects in Paddar Valley too.
We know it is just not practical to achieve many of the listed objectives but most of them just require the strong resolve of the government to wrap up the long pending works. The listed objectives shall continue to remain on our major objectives to achieve for Paddar Valley for the current and upcoming year or years.
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