Jammu needs new districts: BJP’s Prof. Virender Gupta

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Jammu March 29: “With an area about 70 percent more than that of Kashmir Valley, having hilly and tough terrain Jammu province needs at least 4 to 5 more districts, from their present strength of 10,” said Prof. Virender Gupta, the spokesperson of Bhartiya Janta Party. He added that the present agitation in Nowshera for the creation of district and demand of the people of other areas of the province for the formation of new districts looks to be a genuine one while looking on the previous process of creation of new districts. He appealed to the Chief Minister of the State to do an honest exercise to address the issue. He narrated that Kashmir had three districts before June 1979 and Jammu region had six administrative units, but with one stroke then State Government created 3 more districts in the Valley, without constituting any commission. He said this step of the Government created great resentment among the people of Jammu region and provoked them to start an agitation and compelled the Government to constitute Wazir Commission in 1981, that in its report submitted in 1984, recommended for creation of 4 districts in the state with 3 in Jammu and one in Valley. People of Jammu have to make continuous demand and struggle for the implementation of Wazir Commission Report. The spokesperson said that it was after 22 years of Struggle that during the Alliance Government of Congress and PDP, when Gulam Nabi Azad was Chief Minister of the State, a cruel Joke was done with Jammu province in the name of so-called justice to Jammu people. Both Jammu province and Kashmir were given 4 districts each, thus raising the strength of districts to 10 in each region. Thus from June 1979, Kashmir Valley had been given 7 more districts i.e. an enhancement of 233 percent, whereas Jammu region was provided only 4 districts amounting to an increase of about 66%. Prof. Virender said that the injustice was inflicted on the people of Jammu Province when there was either rule of National Conference in the State or when Congress was sharing power with Kashmir based political parties. Virender said that in Kashmir Valley the districts with very small areas like Kulgam, Bandipura, Shupian, and Ganderbal were created. He cited that Shopian which was made district in 2006 has an area of 312 sq Km with only one Tehsil under it, as per 2011 census. He said that in contrast to this Rajouri District has seven tehsils as on 2014. Creation of more districts in presently Jammu, Kathua and Udhampur and in Doda districts need to be considered by the Government truthfully, otherwise, people in these districts may also resort to the agitational path. He appealed the government to constitute a committee headed by a Retired Judge of Supreme Court for the creation of new districts in Jammu region while asking the committee to submit it report within a stipulated time frame. In the State like Jammu and Kashmir which is already facing the menace of terrorism supported and abetted by Pakistan and other Pan-Islamic forces, the government is required to properly address the genuine issues confronting the people of Jammu province, to keep them pacified.