Hill Kaka Remains Ignored – Latest Jammu and Kashmir News | Tourism

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Ch. Rachid Azam Inqlabi

In Poonch Rajouri, there are lush green grasslands and coniferous forests that feature a rich wealth of flora and fauna. From time immemorial, mountaineers, pilgrims and Mughals trekked through its hills to Kashmir as it remained the only means of communication. Rajouri – Poonch is separated from the Kashmir valley by the Pir Panjal range, whose highest peak, Tatakuti, at 15,560 feet, falls in Poonch district and is visible even across the border in weather light. It is yet another pristine peak defying adventurers with crystal clear water, namely alpine lakes. Nandansar, Sukhsar, Neelsar, Katoira Sar, Kaldachnisar and thirteen other lakes are surrounded by glaciers and snow-capped peaks.
Historic Waterfalls, Noori Chammb and Dehra ki Gali attract visitors Visitors: From various parts of Jammu and outside UT, have led countless trekking expeditions in the heights of Poonch, accordingly, Rajouri and Poonch have now been projected onto the tourist map of India. In the local Gojri/Phari dialect, the passes, alpine lakes and grasslands are referred to as Gallies, Sars and Margs or dhoks respectively. Some of the common dhoks in Poonch are Girjan, Panjtari, Isanwali, Nainsukh, Dharamarg, Pirmarg and Sarimastan etc.
In Poonch district, Hill Kaka is a remote hamlet located on the southern slope of the Pir Panjal ranges in the Tatakuti peak span and it takes ten to eleven hours to reach this village from the start of the nearest road.
The Hill Kaka area remained in the news in early 2000 as it was infested with terrorism. In a unique operation, the residents fought alongside the Indian army to root out the terrorists in this village and remained in the national and international news. In 2003, the army, with the help of locals, launched the historic operation “Sarp-Vinash” in 2003. Senior army officers recognized the role of locals in restoring peace to the region . The Hill Kaka operation short film was also released in conjunction with the military. India’s then Defense Minister and Army General appreciated the role of the people of Hill Kaka in bringing peace to the region. Many local people lost their lives in the operation with the army. Hill Kaka is the only village in Jammu and Kashmir where female VDC members participated in the operation against the terrorists. The Hill Kaka martyrs will be remembered for their sacrifice of life
The people of Hill Kaka told me some of their grievances over the phone. A young boy became emotional as he recounted some incidents where people have to carry pregnant women on a cot (charpai) for over 40 kilometers to reach the hospital in Surakote. The village is cut off from the rest of the area as it had no road connectivity or transport facilities, and lacks electricity, drinking water and Anganwadi activities. It takes at least a day on foot to reach Surakote. The medical establishment and health care are nowhere in sight.
They said lack of medical facilities, lack of educational facilities, lack of road connectivity so far is making their life difficult. People have to cross the Hill Kaka River on foot more than four times to reach Surakote. Hill Kaka is part of Mora panchayat which is about 40 kilometers from Hill Kaka due to which people cannot avail the government scheme.
Currently, Hill Kaka has also received the facility of a school building since a public school has been opened here. A hall was built but unfortunately the state authorities took no real interest in monitoring the school. The teachers have been posted but they cannot be found. Children are eager to study, but the problem is who would teach them. UT Jammu (J&K) Department of Education is to take the last call. If they did, these poor children too would jump and jump and jump happily. Medical staff don’t show up for their duties at Hill Kaka which makes people suffer, even for first aid people have to come to Surakote.
It was a hellish area until 2004, but now the situation has improved to some extent but needs more attention from the government. People are asking here that the administrators are keen to make promises, but we haven’t seen a single one completed so far, on the development, education of our children and the health of the people who stay here, but where is the deliverance?
Lack of education is one of the main causes of poverty in this remote area of ​​Hill Kaka. Not all people without formal or non-formal education live in abject poverty, but several researches have proven that most of those who live in extreme poverty lack basic education. Families living below the poverty line (BPL) are most likely to keep their children out of school, which means that their future generation will also be more likely to live in poverty. Technical and formal education can open doors to jobs, resources and skills which, in turn, lead to the eradication of poverty.
The Government of India has extended the Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006, post August 2019, progressive legislation that secures land tenure, food security and livelihoods for traditional forest dwellers. However, the majority of the communities like that of the Gujjars and the Bakerwals were actually treated harsher than they had ever been treated before. Even community law is not available to residents of Hill Kaka. Not only has the deployment of the FRA failed to provide nomadic communities with the benefits promised by the law, but its extension to J&K has actually made life more difficult for them as the Forestry Department seems to feel that the legislation is challenging question his authority.
Local residents are mostly illiterate and poor. They look like a primitive tribal group but are true patriots. Dilpizer Ahmed Kalise of Hill Kaka, Haji Mohd Qassim, Wazir Mohammad, Mohd Rashid, Ab. Haq, Khadam Hussain told the story that in 2003 they fought against militants even with sticks and rods and after the VDC training has helped the army clear the area of ​​militants, but the government is not serious about redressing their grievances, and they are the worst sufferers.
In 2018, the General Officer Commanding the White Knight Corps, Lieutenant General Paramjit Singh Sangha visited Kaka Hill and inquired about the problems of the locals. As a young company commander in the Hill Kaka area, he had been involved in counter-insurgency operations in 2003. During the visit, the villagers shared some of their grievances. The military approached the Civil Administration and Governor’s Advisor at J&K to get a passionate look at the issues facing the locals. Thanks to continued follow-up actions, most local issues have been resolved to some extent. The main road connectivity issue has been resolved with the start of the 14 km road construction project between Bafliaz and Hill Kaka. The project is halfway through with only about 7 kilometers of road constructed but not in good condition. This will open up prospects for overall development and pave the way for eradicating the basic problems faced by the people of Hill Kaka.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who tries his best to solve the problems of ordinary people, is asked to pay special attention to the problems of the people of Hill Kaka. Some of the issues that require immediate attention are:
Accelerate road works from Bafliaz to Hill Kaka on a war footing.
* Hill Kaka turnoff from Mora panchayate
* Assignment of staff to the Hill Kaka medical aid center.
* Provide admission for children in Hill Kaka, Gujjar Inn, KGBV and other schools.
* Opening of a shop at fair prices by food section at this location, particularly during the summer.
* Offering compensation to the residents of Hill Kaka, which the Indian government had promised during the Indian army’s “Sarp Vinash” operation.
* Opening of the Angan wari center.
* Construction of schools at kaka hill
* Including the deserving person in the BPL list.
* MANREGA budget for people.
* Provide the installation of drinking water and electricity
* Solar energy.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha is requested to get to know Hill Kaka and also to devote time to visit Hill Kaka personally so that the patriots of Hill Kaka feel that the Governor’s administration has a special care for them.
Home Minister, Defense Minister Government of India are also requested to direct those concerned to provide facilities to the people of Hill Kaka so that they feel that the whole nation is behind them .
(The author is a former senior KAS officer)

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