Vewan village, located on the foothills of famous Harmukh peak in Bandipora district, craves basic facilities like road connectivity, electricity, mobile connectivity and potable water supply, its residents said.
“Even in the 21st century we don’t have road connectivity and the irony is that we have to walk through thick forests to reach the village either by foot or on horses. We have been deprived of even basic facilities by the successive regimes as no one has even bothered to visit the village in the last 60 years. We don’t have any facility in the village. All we have is hope in the Almighty,” said Abdul Rashid Bhat, a local resident.
The villagers said that it’s very unfortunate on part of the concerned authorities that they have even failed to construct a road to our village from Athwatoo, a famous tourist spot in Bandipora.
“From Athwatoo we have to walk on foot to reach Vewan and it takes us more than two hours from Athwatoo as there is no road connectivity. Even though Athwatoo has been brought on the tourist map but our village which is located only a few kilometers from Athwatoo doesn’t even have road and other basic facilities,” Bhat said and added that lack of roads becomes a major problem during winters.
Many villagers said that they boycotted the parliamentary polls only because they have been “fooled by the successive representatives of the district”.
“Every time they come to visit our village only to get votes with the promise that they will resolve all our issues and later renege on their promises. This time we decided to stay away from polls because we have been cheated every time. Not a single vote was cast on 11 April when polling was held for north Kashmir parliamentary seat,” said Ghulam Qadir, another local resident.
The village having around 170 households is inhabited by Gujjars and Kashmiris.
The villagers said they don’t have cellphone connectivity and lack of electricity makes TV unviable.
They said that the village is even more backward than Gurez Valley even though the village is located some 20 kilometers only from district headquarters.
Deputy commissioner Bandipora Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza said that the matter has been brought into his notice and he will take it up with the concerned departments. “We will try to provide the basic amenities to the village as soon as possible,” he added.