Snatching Livelihoods

Craftsmen hit by power looms and spinning machines have recently been up in arms against government apathy, and demand a blanket ban on such machines to save the livelihood of thousands of weavers and spinners. Handicrafts, a traditional vocation supporting lakhs of people in rural and urban Kashmir, is fast losing its artisan base because […]

Retirement Age

The coalition government has decided to enhance the retirement age of government employees by two years, from the previous 58 to sixty. The decision has been taken as a damage control measure after the coalition partners were defeated in the recently concluded parliamentary elections. As a matter of principal, the coalition government should have resigned […]

Life in Srinagar

The standard of living in Srinagar may have improved but thousands of people in the historic cities of Srinagar and Jammu continue to live in slums.  A survey conducted by M/S IPE Global Private Limited in 2012 reveals that more than 18,000 households are living in slums or slum like conditions. The survey says that a population of 90,000 […]

‘Business’ as Usual

  Reports from the ground tell a story sharply at variance with what people who felicitated Jammu and Kashmir for its healthcare would like to believe. Not to speak of drugs supplied in hospitals or sold in the market, even bandages used at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) have been found sub-standard. A […]

Agricultural Land

Even as food security is becoming the century’s most critical issue worldwide, Kashmir is fast losing its agricultural land, making this already import-dependent state more vulnerable. Due to rampant and unplanned urbanization, connstruction of houses, shopping centers and other commercial complexes on agricultural land is a common sight in the Valley. Conversion of paddy fields […]

In Frail Health

Notwithstanding the awards conferred on Jammu and Kashmir for ‘best’ health services, patient care continues to remain a casualty. The system needs a general overhaul if not a total revamp. According to official data, 3690 out of the total number of government-run health facilities in the state lack proper infrastructure and management. As per sources, around […]

Litterbug Society

Since the police and other wings of the administration, possibly even municipal functionaries, have long found a goldmine in roadside and pavement vendors, there is little possibility of Srinagar ever getting uncluttered kerbsides and walkways constructed in most markets and thoroughfares at great cost to the public exchequer. It is also unlikely for Srinagar and […]

Defend Re-Settlement Act

While rulers in Jammu and Kashmir appear to be showing interest in the debate on Article 370, a vital issue remains unaddressed. The state government is under a legal and moral obligation to contest the petition Bhim Singh has filed in the Supreme Court on the Re-settlement Act.  The state government takes no pains to […]

Take Hill Councils Call

Parliamentary elections are over and the code of conduct has been lifted. The government, therefore, is free to fulfill its promises. Poll results from the Chenab Valley and the Pir Panjal Valley have shocked the state’s coalition government, but it still has time to make amends. Assembly elections are scheduled for October-November this year. The […]

Tomtoming Tourism

The louder the state and central governments speak about Kashmir’s tourist boom to score political points, the farther the Valley recedes from the prospect of living up to its reputation as Paradise on Earth. Tourist inflows have undoubtedly picked up over the past few years – despite obvious hiccups –  but it is not difficult […]