Chenab Division Co-ordination Committee to launch mass agitation for Divisional status” 

SHAFQAT SHAHEEN SHEIKH

             The entire township of trio district connecting the valley of neglected paradise from the borderlines within state of India is a dire need to get Divisional status on pattern of Ladakh . Comprising of district Ramban , Doda and Kishtwar have a dense population of more than 12 las in entire valley that is covered with natural beauties , meadows , rivers , springs , forests , sapphire , safroon , hydro electricity generation and various others .
              The famous river Chenab that flows from Padder , Kishtwar Thathri , PullDoda , Batote and other areas overwhich various hydro electric power projects are constructed and are lighting whole state leaves itself in dark as there is only name of these hydro electric generators . The Chenab Valley generates it’s revenue in form of electricity generation , forest , sapphires , saffron and others but remains neglected on developmental aspects .
              Collective efforts for collective development and equal shares in all state budget is need of hour for peoples of Chenab Valley .
            Soon after the Governor order for declaring Ladakh as Divisional status , Various Social Activists and Working Journalists expressed their resentment over said order as Governor ignored Chenab Valley like that of political parties from since independence .
           Chenab Valley gets a least share from state centre government despite Chenab Valley generating huge economy to state remain neglected .
           Junaid Malik , A renowned Socio Political Activist and Patron Global Peace Foundation reacting the Governor decision said that it’s gross injustice with peoples of Chenab Valley despite its area and population is so dense . In a statement Junaid Malik said that Chenab Valley is the most fertile region which is not less than economic bowl of the state as it produces electricity worth trillions which illuminates other parts of the country, besides it gives state and country the finest sapphire mines, saffron, minerals, timber, herbs, ornamental plants of rarest quality yet it is most isolated and neglected region of the state.
              Malik reiterated that chenab Valley people have always scarified themselves for the collective good of the state and country but in turn always get step motherly attitude. “We give country innumerable treasures, our resources and strength but we are ignored on all developmental planks which is evident from the recent division for Ladakh division only” . The collective population of chenab valley comprising of three districts of Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar amounts to largest region area wise with huge population of schedule caste and schedule tribes with least development and lower literacy rate. It has a population of more than 13 lacs which deserves the divisional status when compared on all qualifying ranks. 
               Advocate Jammu and Kashmir High Court Nisar Ahmed Gattoo described that “Chenab Valley or erstwhile District Doda was the third largest district of the India (area wise). Every individual of this country has right to live life with dignity and same implies to people living chenab valley too”.
           Demanding the status of division  is not an unconstitutional demand. We people of chenab valley are always being discriminated regionally by the politicians sitting in capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar.
           The colonial mind set of people of Jammu division are always oppose this demand they don’t want to dilute their supremacy. But if people of chenab valley get united against those who denied our right then the day is not far we will break this monopoly of politicians who oppose our right.
           Senior Journalist and Advocate Mohd Majid Malik while reacting the ignorance of Chenab Valley as Divisional status urged upon all political leaders of Chenab Valley to be united and take a lesson from Ladakh people and political leaders and civil society members and welcomed the decision of Governor to give Ladakh the status of a separate division and expressed pain over the neglect of Chenab Valley. “The decision of giving a separate division status should have been collectively taken for Chenab valley and Pir Panchal regions too along with Ladakh if it was meant for the greater good of people as people of Chenab Valley are fighting for the same from the last many years”.
           “The Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley areas are also backward and underdeveloped with a huge population so both these areas should also be given the status of a separate division”.
              “Shah Faesal wrote on his social networking sites and calls Divisional Status to Ladakh a welcome step. Few initiatives needs to be added , “The distance between Leh and Kargil is very huge. So while the Divisional Headquarters has been kept at Leh, there should be Divisional level facilities for Health, Education and others at Kargil and Kargil – Skardu road should be opened , Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley regions should also be given Divisional Status keeping in veiw their geographic distinctiveness and the distance from State Capital. There should be a public movement in Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley for getting this demand met and no political party should be allowed to make false promises and get away with it”.
            Renowned Socio Political Observer Sadaket Malik in a statement said that Chenab valley is the worst sufferer of discrimination. Malik said that Chenab Valley that forms one-third area of Jammu Province needs a separate Council to make an end to the sufferings and miseries of the inhabitants. While expressing his anger Sadaket Malik said “Justice delayed is justice denied is the best phrase which befits the vulnerable and deplorable condition of Chenab valley which consists one the largest part of the state both geographically and demographically. The region which presently comprises of three administrative districts of Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban is the worst victim of state apathy

                Malik alleged that Chenab valley is the worst sufferer of discrimination as step motherly treatment being meted out with the region by the Government, as no heed has been paid to the genuine demands including grant of autonomous Hill Development Council status to the Chenab valley region on the analogy of Ladakh Hill Development Council. People of Chenab Valley are forcibly subjugated under Jammu division that itself consists of three districts , “whatever is sanctioned for Jammu province is confined to the districts of Jammu or Samba while majority of the region is left ignored, all major institutions like AIIMS, IIT, SKAUST, Regional University, Central University, Railways and others are located in Jammu proper while majority population of Pir Panjal and Chenab is deprived of all facilities. Malik has urged upon the Governor of J&K State to grant Hill Development Council or declaring Chenab Valley a separate division to pave way for equitable and rationalized development of this remotest and backward area, besides equal distribution of funds to the Chenab Valley.

              Tasleem Javid Wani Chairman and Founding member of SHAHEEN Trust redefined that What Divisional Status for Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal means ?
              Tasleem Javid Wani in his statement said that people of Ladakh woke up with accomplishment-cherishing the long pending dream of Divisional status. Indeed it is a welcome step by J&K Govt and we endorsed this decision wholeheartedly. But is this enough , doesn’t Chenab valley and Pir Panjal deserves the same status.
             Twin regions of Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal comprised of six districts including Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Reasi, Rajouri and Poonch inhabited with twenty percent of the total population of J&K. These two sub-regions are known for its natural wealth like hydro electricity generations, sapphire, gypsum, diary, forest resources  etc and are fulfilling the coffers of state and centre since decades and plays an important role in growth and development of state and the nation as a whole. Despite of this these two sub-regions are less developed and backward in terms of Education, Health, Power , Infrastructure and other sectors when compared with other districts/sub-regions of J&K.
               All these districts are far away from its Divisional HQ and faces lot of administrative hardships and under-governance.
“So Getting Divisional status to both the Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley means”
Better Administration
Better delivery of developmental schemes.
             Fulfilling the developmental  aspirations of public , Eliminating Administrative inconveniences and delivering better Governance. 
Few drawbacks that Chenab Valley needs , “Separate Divisional cadre posts which means more employment , Better Grievances redressal mechanism
Separate Directorates of all Departments , so ease of hardships faced by both the employees and general public. Change in Political Scenario, Politicians mind-set of regional-centric politics and political opportunism. Better Growth, Better Development,  Better progress and prosperity and overall balanced development of all the sub-regions of state which means progressive and Prosperous J&K viz a viz progressive and Prosperous Nation”.
               So I make an appeal to all Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal based politicians, Civil Society members, Social Activists, Educated and Unemployed Youth, General public etc to come forward on one platform setting aside your political and ideological differences to get this demand fulfilled for the largest interest of public.
“If not I than Who and if not now than When”?
              Abid Pampori , Renowned Social Activist and Journalist from Doda on behalf of public of Chenab Valley requesting the State Government from past few years to make the Chenab Valley a separate division, as the geographical condition of this area is different from Jammu as well as from Kashmir. So state Government have to look into this matter for the betterment and upliftment of the people of Chenab valley .This will be a good step for development of Chenab Valley.
             Meanwhile Scores of Socio-Political Activists , NGO’s and other organisations came in support and demand for Divisional status for Chenab Valley as soon after state administration declared separate division for Ladakh , storm of alienation has swept the entire region of Chenab and Pirpanjal. The organisations led by its heads have stuck the streets to demand separate division for Chenab Valley. Across Doda and Kishtwar several road shows and protest rallies were held at Kishtwar, Thathri, Doda, Bhaderwah and it’s adjoining areas imploring people to come in hoards to fight for their due share in administrative setup.
            While addressing a mammoth gathering at various regions the organisations heads said that Chenab Valley is the most fertile region of entire state which illuminates the entire north India is treated step motherly at every step. That its chenab valley which gives hydro electric power worth trillions is reeling under darkness. He further said the valley gives timber, herbs, minerals, sapphire, saffron worth billions only to have death and destruction in return. “We are giving everything from our land, We scarify our resources, our wealth, our treasure but we are neglected and exploited by every means both by state and central government”.
       Chenab Division Co-ordination Committee team us leading the mass awareness protest in entire chenab valley and had decided not to leave any stone unthrown till the demand is not met.” Social Activists and Working Journalists had asked support from entire public of Chenab Valley  to hold protest in every Tehsil and District headquarters and request people  to come in large numbers to fight this battle till its logical end.
               Keeping in view the continuous power crisis in Chenab Valley from since past 40 years we are being told that hydropower projects in Chenab Valley will make our area  self-reliant vis a vis energy and we would be selling power to other states. We have been given false assurances that there would be job creation through these projects.  All these false dreams are being been sold to Chenab Valley  people by the authorities and successive Governments. Neither we became self-reliant in energy sector nor could enough jobs be created in hydropower projects except some jobs for labourers. We are still buying power from other states and NHPC is exporting enough power from J&K by plundering our natural resources. We have only lost, and gained nothing, he claimed and said  we have destroyed our nature and in return got false assurances. At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims to have met the target of 100 % electrification across India in May this year, 80 % Government schools in Jammu & Kashmir are still un- electrified. Youth of our state have not only been deprived of the jobs in these power projects but we have also lost our environment , water resources and forests as well. We are the biggest losers . We talk of  women empowerment, Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao ,  but  not even a single female from  Doda , Kishtwar , Bhaderwah, Ramban and Banihal was selected by the company. Social Activists and Working Journalists demanded 50% reservation of jobs to unemployed youth of Chenab Valley in power projects and free electricity to poor people of Chenab Valley and Autonomous Hill Development Council and separate revenue division for Chenab Valley on the pattern of Ladakh. From last 70 years only 22 % roads connectivity was provided to Chenab Valley where as in Ladakh it is more along with per capita income. In Chenab Valley no full fledged University was opened in any part of Chenab belt and all projects are established in particular areas .
                   It is time to fight for cause of justice otherwise we still remain neglected by State Centre Government , If not I than who , justice for Chenab Valley people . A mass agitation is being launched by various organisations to met this demand at its logical end as Chenab Valley have only lost.
              Chenab Division Co-ordination Committee members urged upon all sections to get united and became a part of mass agitation for their genuine demand that had not met since Independence

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