In absence of civil admin, army runs Machil affairs
From civic issues to income generation, we are dependent on army: Locals
Machil, Oct 12: This heavily militarized frontier village next to Line of Control (LoC) looks more like a garrison than a civilian area. In absence of civil administration, army ‘literally runs’ the affairs of this small hamlet.
“For us civilian government exists only on papers. We have not seen any government official for past many years. In fact we have been waiting for past 3-years to host the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah,” locals said.
Machil is the remotest northern part of the valley’s popular fish bowl. The place is the shortest infiltrating route for militants to cross over Line of Control (LoC) in just a day. The area is so sewed by forces that the local population is outnumbered by them. Aerially, every other tiny wooden hut on scaling peaks resembles army post. The place is so raw that except for a few unpaved roads, people walk on ancient footpaths for miles to reach telephone booths.
The Sarpanch of Ringbala Ghulam Rasool, while addressing a function which was presided over by the General Officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar based Chinar Corps Lt General S A Hasnain, said, “From civic issues to income generation, we are dependent on Army. In Ring Bala area 99 per cent income is generated through Army. Similarly 75 per cent of population is dependent on Army in Dodhi.”
“Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam had assured us that he will bring Omar Abdullah here. But the promise remains unfulfilled till date. We thank GOC for coming here and listening to our problems,” said Ghulam Nabi of Ring Bala.
In a rhymed and novel way, Moulvi Ghulam Hassan drew the attention of the Corps Commander to mitigate the sufferings and hardships of the populace of this remotest hamlet.
“There is no gynecologist to treat expected mothers and sisters. Our pleas to have a gynecologist appointed in the area have fallen flat on deaf ears. Officials for many years have been avoiding us saying that there is no vacancy for a gynecologist,” Moulvi Hassan lamented.
Narrating a woeful tale he said, “An expected mother’s child remained half in her womb last year as there was no doctor to treat or ambulance to carry her. Army intervened and shifted her to Srinagar in a chopper. But her child died on way. We don’t want our mothers, sisters and daughters to face this agony someone needs to listen to us.”
“We don’t flatter Army on its own but for its services. This is the farthest and the forgotten piece of land. We hope you will intervene and bring Prime Minister here one day,” Moulvi urged the GOC.
Machil is a block of eight villages in Lolab constituency with population of around 20,000 civilians. On an average the place is carpeted by 12 feet snow every year.
This Tuesday, Army held its regular feature Awami Sunwai (Public hearing) to listen to the problems of locals. Dodhi village, only five kilometers from LoC, was the venue of this program. It is 170 kilometers from Srinagar.
“In winter we need helicopter service once a week. Mobile tower, schools, medical centers and water supply are needed. And only GOC sahib can solve our problems,” the locals said.
“I am heartbroken and over aged but Government hasn’t done anything for us. Nobody listens to us. May be the GOC makes authorities aware about problems faced by us,” said a local Ghulam Rasool.
After watching and listening to locals, Lieutenant General S A Hasnain stood up and thanked public for their unflinching support. He assured them that their problems will be looked into and Army would provide them all possible assistance.
Amid this, MLA Lolab Abdul Haq Khan admited the lacunas in the border area. He said that Government hasn’t provided any facility in such areas. “But I will fight for medical aid centre. It is a must,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 11 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 11 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 12 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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