Pulwama: For the first time since the popular uprising erupted after Hizb commander Burhan Wani’s killing in July last year, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti visited Pulwama district, the epicentre of the uprising, for interactions with the local people on Sunday.
The visit, unlike previous attempts when Mehbooba had to face public anger, went off peacefully and met with no untoward incident.
Sources in the PDP said that in a bid to reach out to people of the district, Mehbooba spent the entire day in Pulwama and held one-to-one meetings with 134 public delegations.
“We were surprised when we heard about her visit,” said a delegation of transporters that met the CM today. “We approached her to seek a separate enclosure for our vehicles in the town, for the smooth functioning and minimising of the frequent traffic congestion. She on the spot directed the officials concerned to redress our issues.”
Accompanied by local MLAs, Mehbooba reached the town at about 11am and directly drove to the Circuit House, where people had been gathered already in the lawns and were waiting for her arrival.
Sources said that several delegations from Keller, Bello Dargund, Tumlihal, Shopian Block, Murran, Handew, Shahoora, Kangan, Newa, Zasow, Bello, and Dargund met Mehbooba to seek redress of their grievances. They complained of problems with road connectivity, drinking water facilities, health and educational infrastructure, development of tourism, and completion of ongoing development projects.
A press statement from the government said that many delegations from Tral met the Chief Minister and thanked her for giving a push to development activities in their area. They also thanked her for creating the post of Additional Deputy Commissioner to monitor the development of Tral town, the press statement said.
The delegations sought speeding up of restoration works at the Khanqah-i-Faiz Panah, completion of Tral-Nawdal, Tral-Dadsara and Wahab Sahib roads, besides augmentation of Arihal power receiving station and other health and educational facilities, the press statement said. They also sought declaring of Arihal village as a backward area.
PDP sources said that the day was kept exclusively for interactions of local people with the chief minister. “It was part of the outreach programme and there were no speeches. The chief minister wanted to listen to the problems of the people and gave directions to resolve them,” a PDP leader said.
“There were issues pertaining to all activities of life. There were issues related to agriculture, horticulture, heath and many other things. This was part of the party’s renewed outreach. It will continue at other places as well,” a source within the party said.
In December last year, when Mehbooba visited Pulwama and Shopian districts to lay the foundation stone of a few bridges, she had to face public anger in Rohmoo village of Pulwama district. The villagers raised slogans against the chief minister and her government, while pro-freedom and pro-militant slogans were coming out from loudspeakers of local mosques.