Aru craves for basic amenities

Locals, tourists suffer, govt mute

Greater Kashmir
Publish Date: Nov 12 2012 12:00PM
Pahalgam: Notwithstanding tall claims of the Government of undertaking equitable development in Kashmir, Aru a famous tourist spot here sans basic amenities causing immense hardships to tourists and locals. 
 “In absence of basic amenities Aru has turned into a slum. Despite being a favorite destination of tourists mostly foreigners, the Government has neglected its maintenance and development,” the locals said.
 They said the Roads and Building department has failed to macadamize Aru road for years together . “The road is dotted with potholes. The dilapidated condition of the road has severely affected the tourist inflow in the area,” they said. 
 The inhabitants also accused the Power Development Department (PDD) of resorting to unscheduled power cuts. “Our electric lamps glow once in a blue moon,” said a local Irfan Ahmad.
 They said the PDD has not installed electrical poles in the area. “Ironically, the Power transmission lines pass through trees thus putting lives of tourists as well as residents at stake,” they said.
 Heaps of garbage dumps lie scattered at various spots here causing inconvenience to the tourists and locals.
 “Pungent smell emanating from these dumps has made our lives miserable. There is no arrangement for proper disposal of garbage here,” said Shabir Ahmad a local.
 They demanded installation of garbage bins and ensure proper disposal of waste material on daily basis.
 Unlike other tourists spots in Kashmir, Aru sans communication facilities. “In absence of cellular services we are dependent on landlines which most of the times remain cut off during winter. Tourists suffer for want of communication and internet services. Due to lackadaisical approach of the authorities our guest houses remain empty even in peak tourist seasons,” they said.
 They made a fervent appeal to the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad to look into the matter and help in providing them with basic amenities.