Baramulla: Residents of Palhallan area in this north Kashmir district have alleged that they are being deprived of basic amenities for their political beliefs.
They say that despite being declared as a model village in 2008, Palhallan, located just 28 km from the summer capital city Srinagar, has been neglected by successive regimes because of “the pro-freedom sentiments of locals.”
“The condition of roads Raipora, Goshbug, Tantraypora, Kitpora, Wussan, Yedipora, Ghat, Gopalun, Chak-e Jamaal Mir, Aglar, Magraypora and Sultanpora and other villages is pathetic,” Mohammad Suhail, a resident of Kitpora, told Kashmir Reader Sunday
“We have time and again been ignored by successive regimes because of our pro-azadi(freedom) sentiment. We’re being punished for our political beliefs. The politicians seek votes from people on the promise of bijli, sadak and pani. However, once they get elected, the forget everything,” he said.
Suhail said that last time he saw a road being macadamized in his village was in 2004. Since then, he “hasn’t seen any official visiting the village to enquire about the problems faced by the residents.”
“Now when elections are nearing, the politicians will make a beeline to beg for votes. They’ll also make tall promises which will never be fulfilled,” he said.
Mohammad Subhan, a resident of Raipora, told Kashmir Reader that in 2011 a delegation of villagers met Ministers Ghulam Hassan Mir and Javed Dar at the Dak Bungalow, Sopore to apprise them about the problems faced by the villagers due to bad road conditions.
“Instead of giving us a patient hearing, the ministers told us to ask Pakistan to build roads in our village. This is the treatment meted out to us. In elections, they play every gimmick to woo voters. Once elections are over, the politicians change colours like chameleons,” he said.
Not just the bad roads have made what the villagers say, their lives ‘miserable’, but the electricity crisis has also caused anger and despair among them.
“For over 20 days, we have been without electricity. The unavailability of electricity has affected the studies of our children. Soon after sunset, the village presents a deserted look. Bad roads and the power crisis have made our lives miserable. We’re being discriminated,” Mohammad Ismail, a resident of Tantraypora said.
He said that the 400 KV transformer installed in the locality developed snag on at least four occasions this winter plunging the village into darkness.
“Even the polls are damaged and the electricity wires are worn out. A tragedy can’t be ruled out in case the PDD doesn’t wake up from slumber,” he added.
Denying the allegations of discrimination levelled by the resident, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Baramulla, Farooq Ahmad Lone said that the roads will be repaired in the town once the working season begins. He said most of the roads in Valley have suffered damages due to harsh winters.
“It’s not true. The people are not being punished for their ideology. We’ll provide all the basic amenities to the villagers within our budget. We’ll start developmental work once the code of conduct is over,” he added.