Oppn in LC walks out over closure of roads, power crisis

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 18: The Opposition National Conference and Congress members today staged walk-out from the Upper House on the issue of closure of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and several other roads for the last two days and breakdown in the power supply in many areas and poor response of the Coalition Government.
As the Legislative Council commenced its proceedings with the `Question Hour’ in the morning, the opposition Congress and NC members including Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo, Dr Shehnaz Ganai, Dr Bashir Ahmed Veeri, Naresh Gupta, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Sham Lal Bhagat, Ghulam Nabi Monga, Ali Mohd Dar, Qaiser Jamsheed Lone, Showkat Ganai, Master Noor Hussain and Rani Billoria stood up and lodged their strong protest with the Chairman Anayat Ali over the closure of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and many other roads in Chenab region and parts of Kashmir and Poonch.
The agitating members demanded that many patients have been stranded and they could not be shifted to Jammu or Srinagar hospitals from rural areras due to closure of roads. Passengers are stranded at many places and no special efforts are being taken by the Government to clear the roads on war- footing and restore power supply in the affected areas. The public is facing crisis and the Government has totally failed in minimizing their sufferings. The Chairman Ananyat Ali did not give much attention towards their pleas and told that they can take up these issues during `Zero Hour’.
As the members pressed that it was more important and Chairman should allow the members to raise their point, the Leader of the House, Minister for Education Naeem Akhtar suggested that there is Zero Hour immediately after Question Hour and the member are free to raise the issues at that point of time. The opposition members were not prepared to listen and pressed that they should be allowed to project their demand. The Chairman then went ahead with the House proceedings amidst noise and chaos. But in the noise nothing was properly audible. Annoyed over the attitude of Chairman, the opposition members then moved from their chairs towards main door and told that they will stage walk out if the Chairman wanted to gag the voice of the opposition. Upon this, the chairman allowed any two members to speak from Opposition.
Sajjad Kichloo referred to the closure of roads in entire Chenab region and Kashmir valley, power break down and severe electricity crisis in the entire area. He demanded that sick people trapped in Wadwan, Warwah, Dakshan, Paddar area be airlifted. He suggested that Nashri-Chenani tunnel is ready for the last three months. Govt is waiting for inauguration by the Prime Minister who has no time for commissioning it. Yesterday on special request, one ambulance with serious patient from Doda area was allowed to use this tunnel as Patnitop road was closed due to heavy snowfall. He demanded that at least this tunnel be allowed to be used temporarily till it is formally commissioned by a VVIP. Showkat Ganai also raised the issue of releasing those detained under PSA in Valley. GN Monga expressed strong resentment over diluting powers of Panchyats by bringing ordinance and sought reply from the Govt.
As the Government did not give satisfactory response to the members on these issues, entire opposition staged walk out at 11.10 am from the House and said that Coalition Govt was not taking opposition seriously and there was no assurance on road clearance works, restoration of power or airlifting of the patients besides Panchayati Raj, Minister for RDD Abdul Haq Khan however, tried to convince the members over Panchayati Raj amendment .