There I was trying to hop and balance while crossing this puddle in my freshly washed and ironed clothes on my way to the university when I lost my balance attempting to make the final leap. The last brick was not firmly in place, and I fell nose-down into this nasty concoction of human waste and freshly melted snow; all the while being stared by the omnipresent stray dogs who were reclining under the awnings of the nearby shops, only to get annoyed and scurry away because my fall splashed them with freezing water and interrupted their morning siesta, and how can I not mention the ubiquitous watchful eyes of the CRP personnel entertaining themselves by listening to Indian songs being played on their cheap radios in their bukhari-warmed bunkers and giggling away like little school kids while witnessing my predicament.
This made me realize, does anybody in the government have functioning brains?
How would a cable-car gondola project over the Dal Lake, which is going to cost no less than a few hundred crores from start to finish, be a tourist attraction when the dilapidated civic conditions in Kashmir will perhaps make these tourists tread through filth and cesspools? The only thing the gondola might assist the tourists in is that they'll be able to see the heaps of garbage and puddles of sewage from a much higher elevation!
If the government's sole aim is to attract tourists such as yatris; then they need not worry. The yatris will be here whether the government left Kashmir to the dogs or not (pun intended). However; if the government wishes to attract paying tourists who spend their holidays in Switzerland, Scotland, Ireland, or Goa, then they have to use common sense and clean up Kashmir. There is no secret science to the fact that people who have money and want to spend it wisely will prefer travelling to a clean and hygienic city, and definitely not somewhere where they'll spend their short vacation just to be able to see Kashmir's garbage, filth and a selection of the world's finest breeds of stray-dogs while sitting in a gondola cruising over the old-city!
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