Aru lacks basic facilities; inhabitants aghast
BAD ROAD, ERRATIC POWER SUPPLY AFFECTS TOURIST FLOW
Aru (Pahalgam), May 8: Despite the tall claims of the state government about infrastructure development of famous tourist spots across the Kashmir, this South Kashmir tourist hub in Pahalgam is devoid of all the facilities, causing tremendous inconvenience to the tourists and the locals.
The road leading to the scenic resort is in complete shambles, electricity is erratic, there is no cellular service and the heaps of garbage can be seen lying all around.
“Despite being the favorite destination for the tourists mostly foreigners, the condition of the road leading to Aru is pathetic,” said the residents.
They said that the Roads and Building (R&B) Department which is entitled to maintain this road has not bothered to macadamize it for years together. “The road is dotted with potholes and is causing immense hardships to the people travelling in their vehicles to Aru.” “The dilapidated condition of the road has adversely affected the tourist inflow to the area,” they said adding that the tourists were not willing to travel on the road, which is in shambles. “During rains, the road turns muddy making the movement of vehicles and pedestrians immensely difficult.”
They said that a wooden bridge on way to Aru was also in pathetic condition and the authorities hadn’t made any attempt to repair it. “The bridge guardrail has collapsed on one side and the structure can collapse anytime,” the locals said adding that the concerned authorities would be responsible for any untoward incident. “The officials are in complete know how about the condition of the bridge, but they have turned blind eye towards it.”
The residents also complained about erratic power supply in the area. “Our electric lamps glow only once in a blue moon,” said Irfan Ahmad.
He said that the Power Development Department has not erected the electrical poles in the area and the power transmission lines can be seen hanging over the trees, thus putting the lives of tourists as well as residents in danger.
The residents blamed the Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) of completely ignoring the place and thus denying them the livelihood.
“There is no arrangement for proper disposal of waste material as heaps of garbage which stinks, can be seen lying all over the road,” said Abdul Hamid, another resident.
He said the authorities should install garbage bins and also ensure proper disposal of waste material on daily basis.
The residents also complained about the absence of cellular services in the area. “None of the telecommunication company has erected the tower here and we have to rely only on PNT (landlines) which also remain out off service during winter,” said locals.
They said that due to the lackadaisical approach of the PDA, their residential cum guest houses are lying empty even in this peak tourist season. “With government failing to provide basic facilities and repair the road, the tourists are not coming to Aru due to which our livelihood is getting affected,” the residents said.
The inhabitants of the area sought the intervention of Minister for Tourism and District Development Commissioner Islamabad (Anantnag) in this regard.
Compiled by Khalid Gul
Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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