Editorial: Mainstreamed Mess

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Summer Darbar is back in valley, which’s grappling with myriad basic issues, amid the growing official apathy. To begin with, the highway hiccups are now sending home rotten eatables and thus handing unimaginable losses to the troubled traders of Kashmir. Despite being a concern, rather a crisis, it isn’t even batting an official eyelid. The very occurrence should’ve forced the ‘governance-driven’ Raj Bhavan to call for an immediate action plan to restore some confidence. But then, who takes Kashmiris seriously these days.

This indifference has now become a pep talk in Srinagar circles, where it’s seen as an attempt to jam Kashmir’s economic wheel. The conflict-citizenry might be reading too much, but then, who’s, in who’s who camp, even bothering to clear some air about the frequent twists and turns on Kashmir’s only available route to the world?

It’s in this backdrop that Governor Satya Pal Malik’s administration has returned to weather-friendly power centre, on yet another six-month sojourn. And like every year, some men and machinery were put to action to do some quick patch works and remove eyesores from public places to welcome the Darbaris.

However, such desperate red-carpet bids for ‘powerful’ won’t hide the rotten reality of South Asia’s second oldest city. Perhaps, the potholed roads turned puddles themselves speak of the larger governance void in the troubled valley—where mess and menace have sadly become a mainstream now.

And right under the nose of municipal head honchos, the canines continue to grow and terrorise Srinagar streets. The prevailing ailing healthcare itself needs an emergency cure, for devouring even treatable patients.

Kashmir, let it be stated straight, has only become the worst cauldron of crisis on governance front. When the coalition government fell last summer, we were told that holdup development was one of the reasons why the strange bedfellows decided to break-up. But almost a year later, the elusive pledge is only eating up the vitals of the summer capital and Kashmir countryside.

One can’t just measure the progress of public work through the ‘desperate-to-meet-deadline’ activity on flyover. The elevated pathway might be an overt sign of ‘men at work’, but what about the other areas, warranting a war-footing attention?

People need roads, healthcare, infrastructure and other basic facilities. Most of them pay taxes—some through their noses—to earn that privilege. Playing Nero is no answer to the breeding crisis on the ground.

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