Omar challenges Hurriyat to participate in elections
12 June 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: The Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr Omar Abdullah today donated two water tankers to the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department Kashmir for supply of potable water to the people in Srinagar and Budgam. Mr Omar, who is the Member Parliament for Srinagar-Budgam Constituency, provided Rs. 19 lakh for the purchase of tankers from his local area development fund. The Minister for Works, Mr. Ali Mohammad Sagar besides several legislators, officials and people from different walks of life were present. Addressing a public meeting on this occasion, Mr. Omar said that Rs. 1.90 crore have been provided from his local area development fund during the first six months of the current financial year for execution of various productive developmental works in Srinagar and Budgam districts. He urged the legislators and officers to forward only productive developmental programmes for utilization of his local area development fund, which would go a long way in mitigating the sufferings of the people. The Union Minister expressed dismay over the lack of commitment in the Government servants towards the society. He said most of the government employees were only interested in amassing wealth by whatever means and had no commitment towards their responsibilities. Taking a dig especially at the doctors, Mr. Omar said although they are paid huge salaries from the State exchequer, the medicos were not performing their duties with responsibility. Mr. Omar cited a tragic incident to put across his point, which took place at Gulmarg in his presence yesterday. He said a four-year-old girl died at the tourist spot due to non-availability of doctors at the local hospital. He said out of the two doctors posted at the Gulmarg hospital none was present when the girl was brought there for treatment after falling into a local nallah. Mr. Omar said he immediately took up the matter with the State Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah calling for stern disciplinary action against the negligent doctors. He made a fervent plea to the public servants to perform their duties with honesty and sincerity and mitigate the sufferings of the people who have underwent tremendous miseries during the decade long turmoil. The Union Minister said that militancy was to a large extent responsible deterioration in the work culture in the State. He said although lot of efforts have been put in by the present Government to bring about accountability in the functioning of the administration, still a lot needs to be done to infuse a sense of responsibility among the Government officials. He said frequent strike calls by Hurriyat Conference have multiplied the sufferings of the people for want of proper essential services. Asking Hurriyat Conference leaders to stop inflicting further miseries on the people of the State, Mr. Omar challenged them to participate in the elections to prove their so called representative character. He, however, added that Hurriyat was scared of facing the public, as they have no support among the masses as often claimed by them. He accused the Hurriyat leaders of constructing palatial mansions over the blood of poor Kashmiris. The recent recovery of huge assets both in cash and kind from the residence of one of the Hurriyat leaders, he said should be an eye opener for the poor Kashmiris who have only seen death and destruction all these years. He accused the Hurriyat leaders of embezzling crores of rupees collected for the reconstruction of Chrar-e-Sharief shrine. The Union Minister expressed optimism that violence in the State would come to an end soon as Pakistan is under tremendous international pressure to stop cross border terrorism. He said the world community has now understood Indiaís concerns about terrorism and most of the influential countries are working round the clock to ensure that terrorism is stopped completely on the India territory. For this purpose, he said Pakistan has been asked in clear terms to stop infiltration of militants into Jammu and Kashmir. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister for Works, Mr. Ali Mohammad Sagar expressed gratitude to Mr. Omar Abdullah for donated water tankers to the PHE department, which he said would help a lot in making available potable water to the people in twin districts of Srinagar and Budgam. To further speed up potable water augmentation process in the State, Mr. Sagar urged Mr. Omar to take up the Union Rural Development Ministry the matter regarding extension of Baramulla and Kathua districts under pilot projects for cent percent coverage of the rural habitations of these districts with safe drinking water. He said the pilot project has proved a great success in the districts of Udhampur and Srinagar as most of the villages in these districts have already been covered under safe drinking water. Mr. Sagar also sought Mr. Omarís intervention for enhancing and immediate release of funds for Dalgate-Zakura road, which is being upgraded as four-channel expressway under Central Road Fund Programme. He said under the programme, four new bridges are coming up on the road, out of which one has been already completed. He also urged Mr. Omar to take up the matter regarding construction of bye- pass from Pantha Chowk to Rambagh with the Union Surface Transport Ministry. He said as army authorities have put restrictions on the traffic movement via Badami Bagh, it has become imperative for the government to provide an alternate road to the commuters. Mr Sagar urged the people to strengthen the hands of the young leader who is going to take up as the president of the National Conference shortly.