Palhallan ‘model village’ in a shambles

Palhallan, a model village in official records is in a shambles.
Palhallan ‘model village’ in a shambles
Representational Pic

Palhallan, a model village in official records is in a shambles.

The last time residents here hoped some things for them could change was in 2010 when the then chief minister Omar Abdullah announced a special development package for the area.

However, more than eight years on amenities have only worsened in Palhallan adding to public restiveness and anger. 

The condition of roads has further deteriorated; potholes welcome you into the village making pedestrians and commuters equally miserable.

"The entire road connecting over a dozen villages is in a dilapidated condition. Private transporters are hesitant to ply their vehicles on this road," said Muhammad Shafi, a resident, adding the main road and most link roads have not been macadamised since a decade affecting the mainstay of horticulture business. 

"During the peak season when apples are transported out from the area truckers as well as the fruit growers face severe hardships." 

Residents allege bias and say despite a significant increase in population of the area and demands for electricity authorities have not upgraded the electricity supply system.

The situation is no different in the healthcare available for the residents of Palhallan.

A healcare sub center was reopened by some volunteers of non-governmental organisation after it remained closed for several years.

"The sordid attitude of the administration can be gauged by the fact that a health sub centre which remained shut for several years was opened few years back with the efforts of a local organisation," said Muhammad Asif, another resident. 

"We collected money from locals and renovated the building on our own and thereafter health department deputed some staff to the sub centre. The sub centre is now operational but still lacks facilities."

Palhallan area of Baramulla district attracted the attention of authorities during the 2010 unrest. 

Following the simmering situation in the area, the then chief minister Omar Abdullah announced a special package for Palhallan, old town Baramulla and Sopore.

As per the announcement, the government decided to expedite development works in the area. 

"As the situation returned towards normalcy, the authorities started to ignore the area. From deteriorated road conditions to basic amenities, the local population remained the worst affected," said Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Palhallan.

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