Short on Promises
Among other challenges, PDP-BJP alliance has to immediately deal with radicalisation of local youth

The nine-month-old People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) coalition government has become the story of controversies that crop up between coalition partners. The coalition partners failed to meet the expectations of the people to deliver on the promises that were made under ‘agenda for alliance’, thus giving opportunity for criticism.

PM Narendra Modi in Srinagar at a rally. Chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed looks away
PM Narendra Modi in Srinagar at a rally. Chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed looks away

The general feeling among the masses in the state is that the change of guard in Jammu and Kashmir this year has made no difference to the lives of people, and, in fact, the situation has gone from bad to worse.

The biggest challenge for the coalition government is the rehabilitation of flood victims of 2014. “The coalition government will take specific measures to ease day to day life which includes rehabilitation and relief for the flood affected victims and their families. The government of India (GoI) must fully fund the rehabilitation and reconstruction plan,” read the agenda for alliance.

One year has passed and flood victims are yet to be rehabilitated. People of the state, especially of Kashmir valley, were upbeat over the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November, who they thought would announce a rehabilitation package. Modi announced a package of Rs 80,000 crore but it disappointed the flood victims as only Rs 7,854 crore is meant for flood relief, reconstruction and flood management. “This (Rs 7,854 crore) includes monetary help to people for reconstruction of damaged houses and for infrastructure; restoration of livelihood for traders and small businessmen; a plan for comprehensive flood management of the River Jhelum and its tributaries; and Jhelum-Tawi flood reconstruction project,” reads a statement on breakup of the PM’s package.

The previous government led by former chief minister, Omar Abdullah, had worked out flood losses to the tune of Rs 44,000 crore and submitted the proposal for rehabilitation of flood victims to the Centre.

The traders’ community is up in arms against the lack of proper package and described it as a crude joke. “We reject the package…. instead of an immediate relief package, the Prime Minister has made allocation of funds to the tune of Rs 80,000 crore to be spent over a period of five years. Rs 44,000 crore financial package for flood victims submitted by the state is still awaiting approval which has disappointed the people of the State,” said president Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), Mushtaq Ahmad Wani.

Wani said the international report in Annual Disaster Statistical Review had listed last year’s flood in Kashmir as the “costliest natural disaster in the world in 2014” and put the loss at Rs 1,04,000 crore. “But the Centre ignored the requirement of funds essential for relief and rehabilitation,” he added.

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