It’s a nightmare to fall ill here, say residents
Tral: More than 300 households here in Narastan village of Tral in Pulwama district have been left with absolutely no healthcare facility as the government has been utterly apathetic to their plight.
Located in the upper Dachigam area of Tral, the nearest healthcare facility for Narastan village is around seven to eight kilometres downhill in Aripal.
“It’s a nightmare to fall ill in our part of the world,” said Javaid Ahmad Lone, a local resident.
The government had briefly woken up to the plight of the general public of the village in 2010 and had sanctioned a Health Sub-Centre.
The Sub-Centre was to be established at an estimated cost of around Rs 22 lakh, as per Health department sources.
However, seven years down the line what stands on the periphery of the village is an abandoned, half-constructed structure without any medical facilities whatsoever.
“Some paramedics were deputed to the village and, in absence of a proper place for them to function from; a local household had provided them space. The family who had let out a part of their house was promised rent by the department,” locals told Kashmir Reader.
But after a few years, the family asked the paramedics to move out – it had never seen a rupee of rent.
“The paramedics then functioned from the roadside for some months before they stopped coming to the village altogether,” the locals alleged. “But we don’t blame them. The poor souls cannot sit all day out in the open and treat people.”
They said that they have to travel all the way down to Aripal or more often to Tral SDH, more than 20 kilometres away, even for routine health issues.
“The facility at Aripal is also in dire straits. So technically we have to always travel to the Sub-District Hospital in Tral,” the locals lamented.
Narastan residents have a further cause of suffering for public transport too is a luxury for this village abandoned by the government.
The villagers say that they do not expect the government to send doctors for them but say at least a few paramedics and a place for them to function from would have been some sort of relief.
Chief Medical Officer, Pulwama, Dr Talat Jabeen said the building for the Sub-Centre was not handed over to the department in the wake of some pending liability.
“There was a liability of some Rs 20,000, due to which the building was not handed over to the department. The Sub-Centre ran from a rented accommodation for some time,” Jabeen acknowledged.
She said the matter has been taken up with the Deputy Commissioner and the issue will hopefully be sorted out soon.
Director Health Care Saleem-ur-Rehman also assured that he will look into the matter.