Mufti pitches for reopening of Turtuk – Khaploo road

Greater Kashmir

‘Area facing development-deficit’

Srinagar, Oct 9: Reiterating the demand of Peoples Democratic Party to carry forward the process of greater contact across the Line of Control, the party patron Mufti Muhammed Sayeed Tuesday said Turtuk and other areas of Nubra in Ladakh deserve a priority treatment in view of special circumstances.
 Interacting with a civil society group from Nubra valley in Ladakh region here on Tuesday, he said the humanitarian aspect of Turtuk was more acute than other divided families in the state.
 Mufti said in view of the fact that Turtuk was liberated in 1972 the feeling of separation among the families was very fresh and needed an immediate healing touch.
 “Some pathetic cases of families separated post 1972 were brought to my notice in which some people in their middle ages have never seen their parents or siblings who were left across the LoC,” he said. “Apart from reopening Turtuk- Khaploo road, it is necessary that a meeting point be established for the members of divided families to meet once in a while.”
 Mufti said Nubra Valley faced a huge “development deficit” and a special package for the area was needed to uplift the socio- economic status of the people there.
 He said the educational facilities which were upgraded during “my tenure as chief Minister needed further fillip and consolidation so that the students of the area are able to compete in the job market.”
 Referring to the considerable potential for development in horticulture, Mufti said there should be an intervention in this sector so that the horticulture base is widened and marketing prospects are improved.
 He said “this could be done by modern initiatives in processing and preservation which could help the growing numbers of unemployed youth to find gainful job opportunities.”
 He said tourism in the area could also be “expanded in view of the unparalleled natural assets the area has.”
 He regretted that “the present government has been unable to carry forward the development of tourism infrastructure in the area which had been taken up by previous coalition.”