Dal Dwellers Dislocation in Disarray

Rakh-e-Arth lacks basic amenities

MUKEET AKMALI

Srinagar, Dec 7: Notwithstanding the Central government’s liberal funding on conservation of Dal Lake and rehabilitation of Dal dwellers, the state government has been unable to mitigate the sufferings of those living in Rakh-e-Arth also known as Dal Colony in Bemina.
 Rakh-e-Arth is a project aimed at rehabilitating thousands of Dal Lake dwellers.
 Even though the dwellers have been settled at Rakh-e-Arth, but the colony is lacking the basic amenities which deem it unfit for living.
 “The place we have been shifted is not fit for living. This place was a marsh which was filled with soil and subsequently houses were constructed on it, as a result of which houses in the colony have developed cracks within few months after the construction,” said residents.
 “The state government has not allowed team of officials to visit us for reasons known to our rehabilitators,” said Muhammad Amin, a resident.
 The construction of this residential colony alone cost Rs 402 crore.
 However, according to locals one year has passed but the facilities are still incomplete.
 “When we were shifted we were assured that the colony will be developed with basic amenities, but it seems that these were just rhetoric statements which never came true,”  said Farooq Ahmad , a Dal dweller who lives in the colony.
 The colony which houses 30 families is at present without adequate electricity, water and road infrastructure.
 “Roads are so bad that it becomes difficult for our children to even travel to schools. When the inauguration of the colony was to be done, the officials macadamized the soil, which later on itself got defaced as proper procedure for macadimisation was not followed,” said Muhammad Maqbool.
 Interestingly, the pathetic condition of road leading to Rakh-e-Arth even led to cancellation of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s attending the inaugural ceremony of this colony.
 Locals say that instead of holding meetings regarding the rehabilitation of Dal Dwellers, the ministers and officials should personally visit the colony and see how much money has been spent on the rehabilitation.
 Pertinently, Estimates Committee held a meeting on Thursday under the Chairmanship of MLA, Choudhary Muhammad Ramzan to review rehabilitation of Dal dwellers at Rakh-e-Arth
 The construction of this colony was started in May 2009 with an aim of rehabilitating at least 8000 Dal dwellers. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Housing and Urban Development minister had even advocated a third party monitoring or outsourcing Dal rehabilitation project to a private agency to speed up the process. The same is, however, awaited for two years now.
 Rakh-e-Arth rehabilitation project has also been severely criticised by environmentalists, describing it as a killer encroachment of a wetland, which this colony once used to be.
 The area has been listed as a wetland by the experts at State Remote Sensing Centre which should not be given away for human settlements.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 8 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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