Editorial | Developing towns and villages

Greater Kashmir

Development is a wholistic concept. In the modern day world where development is not just an external thing but involves the internal well being of human beings, individual and collective. That is why there are finer details when it comes to the concept of development. Among these details is a concept of equitable development of all the regions of any administrative unit. It means whether a city, town or a village, the benefits of development should reach everywhere, and the amenities and facilities that are available to the people living in cities should be availed by the people living in towns and villages also. To this end the governments must be made responsible for developing the towns and villages so the people living there do not lag behind in deriving benefits of the development activities of the government. In case of J&K we have seen a very disturbing trend of urbanisation in the sense that people from towns and villages are consistently shifting their residences form their ancestral places to one or the other locality in the srinagar city.

This has led to problems on many fronts. The pressure on the land resource and also on the amenities provided by the government is immense. On the other hand there are societal problems that are going to pose challenges not just today but for decades to come. Looking at the big picture it is the duty of a government to ensure that people don’t need to shift from villages and towns to the cities, like Srinagar and Jammu, just for availing some amenities. If those facilities are provided to the people living in towns and villages, why would anyone choose to leave his ancestral place and live in an alien neighbourhood.  If there are good schools in our towns and villages, if we have good higher education institutions in our towns, if we have good healthcare facilities in our villages, we can save people from the hardships of travelling long distances to avail such facilities. Above all it will make the fruits of development reach everywhere. The cities will not suffer because of over-population and the people living in villages will be saved of the trouble of moving out from their places.