Historic Chinar town faces official apathy

Sans basic facilities, people suffer

Bijbehara: Inhabitants of historic Chinar town are up in arms against the authorities for failing to provide them with basic amenities.
 Most of the roads in the town are dilapidated and the problem is compounded by erratic power and water supply. 
 Saddar Bazar one of the major link roads of the town is dotted with potholes.
 “The road connecting Bijbehara colony to the Srinagar-Islamabad highway has neither been widened nor macadamized despite repeated assurances. Though the traffic has increased manifold but the roads have not been widened. This has made most of the roads here accident prone,” the locals said.
 The roads at Saraf Mohalla and Baba Mohalla are too narrow for even a single heavy vehicle to pass by causing frequent traffic jams. “Despite being such a large town there is no parking facility here as most of the state land has been illegally occupied mostly by influential people,” they said. 
 Besides the inhabitants accused the authorities of inordinate delay in allotting them plots for construction of houses.
 “Though the land for housing colony was identified years ago but the plots were never allotted and the site is being used by the Municipal committee for garbage disposal,” said Muhammad Amin Gatoo a local. 
 The town sans proper drainage and sanitation system.  “The municipality here is totally defunct and has never bothered to repair the lanes and drains. In absence of a sewage treatment plant most of the drains of the town directly flow into the river Jehlum,” said Noor Muhammad Vaid a social activist.
 The locals said the town has been reduced to a garbage dump. Heaps of garbage dumps are present around the town The garbage emanates pungent smell and attracts dogs and other stray animals. This causes immense inconvenience to us,” said Adil Rashid a local.
 The locals said that the municipal authorities have not bothered to install even a single garbage bin in the town. “The Municipal Committee seems to be in a slumber,” he said.
 He said most of the roads san street lights while the installed ones have been rendered defunct.
 The locals alleged that river Jhelum flowing through the area has been encroached on both sides. “Jhelum which once used to be major attraction for the people visiting the town is shrinking fast as unscrupulous people are encroaching it fast. Many illegal structures have come up on its banks,” they alleged.
 They accused the PDD of plunging the area into darkness by resorting to unscheduled power cuts. “We receive power for few hours. Despite paying our bills we don’t get regular power supply,” they said.
  They complained of receiving contained drinking water. The filtration plant feeding the area has been rendered defunct and as such we get contaminated water,” said Sheikh Imitiyaz Ahmad a local.
 Locals said during summers there is a rise in gastroenteritis, jaundice and other water borne diseases in the area.  
 They appealed the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad to look into the matter.
Reports Compiled by Khalid Gul

Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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