Where Are Ministers, Legislators?

Where Are Ministers, Legislators?

12 March 2014
Greater Kashmir
Imran Muzaffar

Srinagar: Six people dead, dozens injured and an unconfirmed number still trapped in a south Kashmir avalanche, no electricity, no drinking water, inundated roads and a badly affected healthcare system – in this kind of a situation, what Chief Minister Omar Abdullah offers to people on Twitter is a “helicopter” ride. “The state govt has offered to place a helicopter to fly out any injured people should the need be felt medical advice dictate (sic),” Omar wrote on the micro-blogging website, around 4 pm on Wednesday. Yet on ground, not a single measure was seen to be taken by government to address the problems which piled across Kashmir during the two consecutive days of snowfall and torrential rains. Interestingly, what evoked widespread criticism is that all the ministers and legislators were conspicuous by their absence. The minister in charge for winter secretariat, Sajad Ahmad Kichloo, according to sources, reportedly did not take any cognizance of the problems facing entire Kashmir. Sources said the minister attended the secretariat for half an hour on Monday. “On Tuesday, he came and left shortly. On Wednesday, he didn’t come at all.” “Inches of snowfall buried the whole government,” said a civil society member, Shakeel Qalander. “The situation has exposed government’s preparedness and its so-called disaster management programme.” Qalander said the administration has completely failed to resolve the basic problems of water-logging and snow clearance. “Everything has come to a standstill including the government,” he said. “And it tells upon false claims of ministers and legislators.” Slamming legislators and ministers, satirist and civil society member, Zareef Ahmad Zareef, said, “If these ministers and MLAs were real representatives of public, they would have been very much in Kashmir” He added, “Given this situation, are they our representatives? Now these ministers and MLAs would come begging for votes.” The civil society member criticized Omar Abdullah for showing “fake” concern on micro-blogging website. “He offers helicopters,” Zareef said, “but doesn’t even give a cart to the hapless people.”