‘Safe haven for gamblers, drug addicts’
KULGAM: After spending more than a crore-and-half of rupees on its construction, the authorities in Kulgam district have abandoned a building in Akhran area that was meant on paper to cater to a new type of Primary Health Centre (PHC).
“Ironically, however, the area does not fulfil the requirements for sanctioning of a PHC,” a health official told Kashmir Reader, requesting not to be named.
He said that even a Sub-Health Centre (SHC) was only sanctioned to the area in the year 2014, while construction on this now-abandoned building was started way before that, in the year 2005-06.
The authorities were having a tough time deciding what to do with the building.
“The dilemma was whether to shift the current SHC, which works out of a rented accommodation, to the building or wait for a PHC to be sanctioned and start that in this structure,” the health official said.
While the authorities battled with the dilemma, the building suffered massive damage in the devastating floods of September 2014, leaving it all the more unusable.
Following the damage done by the deluge four years ago, the Health officials have been writing to the concerned departments for its renovation, having now decided that the building will be used to house the SHC.
“Repeated reminders have gone unheard. We have got no response to our repeated reminders,” the senior health official said.
Meanwhile the building, locals said, having remained abandoned for so long has become a refuge to gamblers and drug addicts in the area.
“A huge building lying abandoned invites trouble, it’s quite understandable,” a local lamented.
Other locals Kashmir Reader talked to said that the building has become a nuisance.
“We don’t know why such a building was constructed in the first place. But having being contracted, whether under political motivation or otherwise, it should be put to some good use,” the villagers said.
Deputy Commissioner (DC), Kulgam, Dr Shameem Ahmad Wani acknowledged that the building was lying waste.
“I have myself inquired about it as many times as I visited the area,” Wani said, adding that he has talked to the concerned officials and steps have been taken to renovate it.
Wani said that the building will be renovated and handed over to the Health department soon.