Srinagar, Dec 23: President Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Friday said that the traditional political parties in the valley have neglected and deprived the Dal Lake dwellers of basic facilities for decades.
“For decades, our brothers and sister of Mir Behri and adjoining areas in Dal have been deprived of basic necessities like accessibility, clean drinking water, electricity infrastructure, good schools, healthcare and employment opportunities. Both traditional political parties have exploited the inhabitants of Dal Lake while intentionally subjecting them to a life of penury and misery. Successive MLAs and regimes hid behind numerous excuses to justify the ruthless discrimination meted out to the people of Dal” Bukhari said.
Bukhari was speaking during a massive public meeting at Mir Behri, Dal along with other senior leaders of the party, including the Mayor of Srinagar and the Party’s Youth President, Junaid Azim Mattu who happens to be the elected Corporator from Bod Dal Ward of Mir Behri.
Bukhari said that both traditional political parties have used the Dal dwellers for their political gains. “These exploiters snatched from your children their rights to be equal citizens of Srinagar but now I am proud to say that as your elected representative and our Mayor, Junaid Mattu has taken visible and unprecedented steps to address the enormous governance deficit in Mir Behri. Today’s outpouring of love, affection and support is a heartening testimony to your unwavering faith in him” he said.
Bukhari said that both National Conference and PDP have offered nothing but fake promises and lies to the inhabitants of Dal. “You are the crown of the Dal ecosystem and the lake is incomplete without you - its most prized and valuable human component that makes Dal Lake one of the most unique living and breathing human ecosystems in the entire world. You not only represent but also enchanted the beauty of Dal Lake but unfortunately, these areas were deprived of all the basic facilities and no one in the past bothered to transform these areas into tourist villages and model areas which would attract tourists and generate employment and economic impetus in the area,” he stated.
Mattu while addressing the massive public meeting said that he has made it a mission to change the destiny of the inhabitants of Dal and transform their lives out of the darkness of hopelessness - towards a future of hope and dignity. He said it is his utmost honour to represent the people of Dal as their elected representative and that he would leave no stone unturned to continue the mission of providing basic infrastructure and facilities to the people.
“When you elected me as your representative four years ago, I promised you that I would leave no stone unturned to fight against the mindset and administrative eco-system that has discriminated against you for decades - depriving you of your basic human rights. Today, while a lot remains to be achieved, I am proud to say that we have done what successive Chief Ministers, Governments and local MLAs from Hazratbal promised yet failed to deliver. I assure you that this journey will continue until the Dal dwellers are brought at par in rights and dignity to their fellow citizens in the rest of Srinagar” he said.
While hitting out at National Conference and Peoples’ Conference for what he said lying to the people of Mir Behri, Mattu said, “It is a matter of absolute shame and desperation that a former MLA from Zadibal and a young leader of National Conference from Zadibal have been lying through their teeth since a week. One has claimed that the three bridges at Karam Shah - Mehdi Road were funded through Dr Farooq Abdullah’s MPLADS. The other, the former MLA from Zadibal has simultaneously said that the bridges were made possible because he approached the Hon’ble LG. Do these people have no shame? Aren’t they even scared that a simple RTI and a cursory look at the official documents and tender documents would expose their lies?.”
“The bridges were approved and will be funded by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation’s CAPEX grants and were approved and the funds allotted nearly a year ago by the SMC Executive Committee headed by me. I have been fighting single-handedly for their approval by LCMA in the High Court for months. The court documents would prove that. And I was doing this while these two leaders were oblivious to the challenges”, Mattu said.
“But their lies don’t surprise me. The PC leader and Former MLA from Zadibal left no stone unturned to stop macadamisation work on the Shaheed Aga Syed Mehdi Road last year and threw tantrums in the offices of senior government officers, begging them to not allow this road to be made and threatening others of legal ramifications if they allowed the road to be macadamised. Let him put his hand on the Holy Quran and deny this and I will prove his lies with details. It doesn’t behove him to lie so brazenly at this age. As for Tanvir Sadiq, he has said the funds came from Dr Farooq’s MPLADS - and sadly for him the MPLAD expenditure is open to public scrutiny. His lies are so blatant that they don’t even require an effort to be exposed”, Mattu added.
Mattu said that Zadibal Constituency is yearning and harking for change and he would leave no stone unturned to serve the people of Zadibal Constituency with utmost honesty, dedication and transparency. Mattu further said that the coming Assembly Elections in Zadibal would see the rout of both NC and PC and that the only “contest” in Zadibal was for the second place between NC and PC.
The meeting was also addressed by Former Minister and Apni Party Senior Vice President, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Former Minister and Apni Party Provincial President Muhammad Ashraf Mir, Former MLA and Apni Party District President Noor Muhammad Sheikh and Apni Party State Secretary Muntazir Mohiuddin besides various senior functionaries of the Party from various senior functionaries of the Party from Zadibal constituency.