20 government agencies still operate from Pulwama
Even as Shopian was granted district status more than a decade ago, over a dozen offices/government agencies still do operate around 20 kilometers from here, in Pulwama.
Shopian was granted district status in March 2007. It comprises 226 villages with a population of 2,65,960 souls, according to census of 2011.
The residents said it causes much inconvenience to them to visit various offices/departments in Pulwama. According to them the government agencies which operate from Pulwama include Pollution Control Board, Flood Control Unit, Mechanical department, Executive Engineer STD, Executive Engineer PMGSY, State Forest Corporation, Superintending Engineer R&B, JKPCC, Superintending Engineer Power Development Department, and PHE sub division.
“Although Shopian is a district for last about eleven years, we still have to go all the way from here to Pulwama even for petty official works,” Shabir Malik of Shopian said.
“The whole town had welcomed the announcement of district status of Shopian in 2007, least knowing that it won’t make their life better anyway,” he said.
“Government then had promised that Shopian as a hill district will get all modern and basic facilities but now we feel we have got nothing except the mere status of a district just for the sake of it,” the locals said.
“Even the government departments/agencies that are in Shopian, they lack basic facilities. Many key departments still operate from Pulwama,” a group of locals said.
“Our district hospital is still working as a sub district hospital with facilities not even matching with the sub district hospital,” they said.
“It is ironic that Shopian has a vast mini secretariat having more than a hundred rooms, yet many important departments and officials operate from Pulwama,” they said.
The residents said that most of the work of forest corporation was done in Shopian but the office of divisional manager operates from Pulwama causing huge inconvenience for the residents of remote villages of Shopian.
“We never felt any difference for better that has been made in the district. We still have to go to Pulwama for important works,” a group of contractors said.
When contacted, the MLA Shopian Muhammad Yusuf accepted that the residents are suffering badly as many departments are working from Shopian. “But I am on it and I have written to the government about the matter and I hope that soon the problem would be solved,” he said.