Warwan, May 6: Absenteeism of govt employees and lack of development was causing immense hardships to the local people of Marwah and Warwan areas of Kishtwar.
Normal life has been badly affected due to prolonged winter and road closures in the remote areas of Marwah and Warwan Valley of the Kishtwar district.
The sub-division Marwah and Warwan is divided into two parts and has no road connection with the district headquarters in Kishtwar. After reaching Kashmir valley via Murgan Top, the people of the two tehsils of Marwah and Warwan can reach the district headquarters Kishtwar via Sinthan Top or via Batote on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. Officials said the road remains closed for about five months till 2 May due to snowfall across Margan Top.
The entire population of Marwah and Warwan remains cut off from the rest of the UT and most of the people are forced to live a difficult and poverty-stricken life. Locals alleged that the government schemes for the welfare and development of people, running successfully in other parts of UT, are missing on the ground in Marwah-Warwan Valley as government employees remain absent for months together.
This correspondent visited Warwan and Marwah recently and talked to the general public including women and PRI representatives at Inshan, Mangil, Afti, Margi, Bashmena, Choi Draman and Braaian villages of Warwan tehsil. The whole area is without electricity, internet, and telephone facilities.
The people have been cut off from road communication for five months and the Rural Development Department Warwan has ignored the development in the Warwan block of district Kishtwar for the last three years while the staff of BDO office have been reported absent from the area since October last year. People raised slogans against RDD outside its office at Warwan.
The angry people alleged that the absenteeism of RDD officials puts entire construction and development works and public issues at a standstill in Warwan block. This leads to lapse of government funds allocated for public works and development in Kishtwar, they added.
On a visit to the BDO office Warwan Greater Kashmir team found that the BDO office is being run from one small room and a class 4th helper is performing his duty to open and close the tin shutter of the BDO office Warwan.
While raising slogans against the RDD, people have accused the employees of the RDD Warwan of embezzlement of government funds. They demanded an inquiry into the allegations against RDD.
Locals said that there is a lack of medical facilities in the area and about half a dozen medical centers are without doctors and medical staff and some are run by local casual employees.
On visiting PHC Afti in Warwan only one doctor from Sangam Bijbehara out of four was found present. The locals said no blood test, EG, USG, and X-ray facility is available for patients in any of the medical facilities across the subdivision Marwah- Warwan for more than 50,000 people. Villagers said that the employees of the agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry department, and the Jal Shakti department rarely visit the Warwan region. They said only the tehsildar, SHO , ZEO and forest officials remain present at Warwan Tehsil headquarters from employees of about three dozen departments.
A number of women at Margi , Inshan, Mangil and Afti villages of Warwan said that there is a severe shortage of drinking water in these areas despite the existence of a number of water resources and springs. They said that the people are forced to drink dirty water from nearby nullahs. They said that the engineers and other employees of the Jal Shakti department have not been in the area for many years and the entire system of the Jal Shakti department is handled by daily wagers.
When contacted, Director RDD Jammu Mohmmad Mumtaz Ali said that some BDOs have been transferred and new ones posted. He said he will check and initiate an inquiry into “why no BDO has visited Warwan since October last.”
He said, “ I have been informed by all ACDs that all newly transferred BDOs have joined their duties.” Replying to a question, Director RDD Jammu said the rural development department and its employees are working on the ground and he will inquire why RDD employees including BDO were not present in Warwan block for long.
CMO Kishtwar Dr. Yaqoob said he will inquire about the allegations of the long absence of doctors.