A tale of 2 villages in Ganderbal

Even as the 4G service has been restored in Ganderbal, two villages in the district remain deprived of the high speed internet like they have been neglected in development. Reason: While as one of the villages has become the victim of ‘overlapping’ of district jurisdiction, another has turned virtually into a “no man’s land.”

This is the sorry state of affairs of Pandach and Safapora village. Ganderbal was earlier part of Srinagar district. “In 2007 when Ganderbal was made separate district revenue Halqa Pandach was cut off from Srinagar and adjusted with the newly carved out district,” locals said.

“However Srinagar municipal limits were not altered and Pandach continued to be under Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC),” the locals said, adding that this actually created an “administrative issue” for Pandach.

“Pandach is facing a lot of the issues on developmental front due to the dual control over it,” they said. “The area falls under municipal limits of Srinagar while as it comes under the jurisdiction of revenue district Ganderbal,” senior journalist and local resident Rashid Rahil told Greater Kashmir.

He said Pandach area comprises approximately of 20,000 souls. “People here want either to be kept completely with Ganderbal or Srinagar district. The local youth are deprived of government jobs in Ganderbal as well as in Srinagar for the identity crisis,” he said.

If ‘dual control’ mars Pandach residents’ interests, Safapora has become virtually a no man’s land. Safapora is part of the revenue district Ganderbal but falls under Sumbal assembly constituency which is part of Bandipora district. The inhabitants of Safapora complained that the creation of new districts few years back has not resolved their grievances.

According to the locals, they are still being forced to approach a number of offices in Bandipora district for official work. The residents told Greater Kashmir that some years back when Ganderbal and Bandipora were upgraded to district status, Safapora which earlier was part of Sumbal tehsil, was attached with Ganderbal district. “But we are still being told by the authorities to approach many departments in Bandipora district. We are still part of Sumbal constituency,” they rued.

Convenor Civil society Safapora Suhail Ahmed said Safapora was attached with Ganderbal district on the demand of the residents as the district office was nearer than that of Bandipora for them. “We are still being told to approach Bandipora district and Sumbal tehsil offices despite being declared part of Lar tehsil,” he said. “Many times we approached concerned authorities to solve the problem but nothing practical materialised. We again demand redress of our problem.”

The locals of both Pandach and Safapora area have sought the intervention of the Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir PK Pole in this regard. Despite repeated attempts, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir couldn’t be contacted for his comments.