Srinagar: Amid the prevailing COVID-19 lockdown, residents from several villages in north Kashmir’s Gurez valley said there is an acute shortage of essentials in view of the ongoing restrictions.
Last week, the Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza, imposed ban on entry of people into Gurez valley as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of COVID-19.
Villagers hailing from several hamlets including Sheikhpora, Badugam, Barnoie, Buglinder and Kaspot in Bandipora’s Tulail told Kashmir Reader that they were running short of essentials including ration and medicines as authorities had sealed the road, which was cleared of snowfall recently.
“It has been months when we have had green leafy vegetable, leave apart chicken as there are simply no supplies,” Latief Khan, a local from Sheikhpora village said.
He said that the restrictions had left locals high and dry for want of medical care as the health centres were “acutely” short of staff even as basic medicines were scarce.
“You won’t believe it, we are craving for a simple painkiller like paracetamol here,” he alleged.
Khan said that the lockdown had even worsened the electricity supply as generators have also run out of fuel.
The residents acknowledged that the ongoing lockdown was inevitable in order to break the chain of the COVID-19 pandemic, but said that it should not come at the cost of survival.
“I understand that the lockdown is indispensable to prevent the further infections, but we have to survive too. What can we do without basic amenities?” asked a local from Tulail.
Although the administration usually stocks supplies before winter, a local said that the last year’s early snowfall and the subsequent closure of Srinagar-Gurez road had hugely affected the supplies.
“And now when the road has been cleared of snow, things are back to square one due to the corona restrictions,” he added.
DC Bandipora, Shahbaz Mirza did not respond to repeated calls and messages by Kashmir Reader over the matter.