Rakh-e-Arth residents decry lack of basic amenities

Rakh-e-Arth residents decry lack of basic amenities
Photo: Aman Farooq/GK

Srinagar, Jan 12: Residents of Rakh-e-Arth have expressed resentment against the lack of basic amenities in the colony.

The residents said they were relocated residents from Dal Lake to Rakh-e-Arth over a decade ago. “However, we are facing problems due to lack of basic amenities,” they said.

“Literally the place has turned into a slum due to lack of basic facilities,” they said.

The rehabilitation of Dal dwellers is a part of the project to conserve Dal Lake.

"In 2007, the government announced to relocate Dal dwellers and rehabilitate them at Rakh-e-Arth which was supposed to be developed on modern lines with all facilities like hospitals, schools and other amenities. But lack of health, education and transportation facilities is causing immense hardships for us,” said Manzoor Ahmad Mir, president of local Mohalla Committee.

He added that water supply also often remains interrupted and people have to fetch water from other areas for cooking and drinking purposes.

“Over 1100 households have been shifted to Rakh-e-Arth. There is no facility and it in no way a suitable place for dwelling. Hospital and school buildings are under construction for past four years, but the process of their construction is very slow,” he said.

Health experts said that inhabitants of Rakh-e-Arth are suffering from multiple non-communicable diseases and psychiatric issues.

"There is no public health centre or a small dispensary in our locality. We don't even have transport facilities available to rush to hospital in case of any medical emergency," Mir said.

"Entire population including men, women and children are suffering here. So they have adjustment-related problems because a labourer has to go from this place to Dalgate. This place has no transport facilities as well," said a group of locals.

The locality also does not have a ration shop. Families have to travel to Dalgate area for receiving monthly food grains from government stores.

“Then we have to pay Rs 200 to 300 to a load carrier to carry ration back to this place," said Mushtaq Ahmad, another relocated resident.

The site also has school and children of the relocated families have to travel long distances for basic education.

Locals said that the government had agreed to provide five kanals of land at Rakh-e-Arth for construction of a school “but no headway has been made for demarcation of land so that work on the construction of school building could start.”

The residents appealed to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to look into the matter and direct concerned officials to take immediate measures for redressal of civic issues of the area.

Greater Kashmir
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