Baramulla: With the conclusion of the recently held ‘Town Diwas’, organised by the Baramulla district administration, the civil society members of Baramulla town are looking forward to the redressal of their long-pending demands concerning the development of the town.
After encouraging results of ‘Block Diwas’, the Baramulla district administration has initiated the ‘Town Diwas’ programme.
Such events aim to fill the gap, if any, between the administration and the people of the rural and urban areas.
Among the major issues raised during the ‘Town Diwas’ include car parking, increase in the municipal limits, upgradation of the old town filtration plant, Football Academy Rangwar, proper cleaning of streams, and completion of NDPHC at the old hospital building, besides face lifting of the town.
The other issues include macadamisation of roads, inner lanes, proper drainage system, waste management disposal, and initiation of the Greater Baramulla project.
The participants also demanded upgradation or replacement of the slow sand filtration plant at Bagh-e-Islam Baramulla. Constructed in 1974, the filtration plant is believed to be insufficient to fulfill the drinking demand of the town residents, the population of which has increased manifold since it was set up.
“The filtration plant needs to be developed on modern lines as it suffices the drinking water need of 80 percent population,” said Nazir Ahmad, President Auqaf Islamia Baramulla, who represented Auqaf Islamia Baramulla during the ‘Baramulla Diwas’.
The use of the old town hospital premises has been another issue lingering for a long.
After Baramulla district hospital was shifted and upgraded to Government Medical College Associate Hospital Baramulla, the locals here pitched for the use of the old hospital building and its premises as New Type Primary Health Centre (NTPHC).
Though the authorities had earlier released some funds for the project, the work was left out owing to the scarcity of funds.
The participants had urged the administration to complete the pending work so that the people of the town had access to the health facility.
Former General Secretary, Traders Federation Baramulla, Tariq Ahmad Mughloo, described the meet as productive and wished all demands were met without further delay.
“These are not fresh demands,” said Tariq Ahmad Mughloo. “For the past two decades, the town residents are waiting for the fulfillment of these demands. We are now pinning hope on the present dispensation for the redressal of these long-pending demands.”
Another participant said that another important demand was of increasing the town limits.
They said that despite the massive population increase, the town limits had not been increased despite the assurance of the successive regimes.
“The inability of the authorities to increase the town limits is depriving us of some major central-sponsored schemes as such schemes are designed for a town having a population of over 1 lakh,” said Muhammad Rafiq, a participant. “As per the 2011 census, the population of the Baramulla town was around 80,000. The increase in the town limits will make Baramulla town eligible for several central-sponsored schemes.”
Another burning issue in the town is the lack of a parking lot.
The town is without a car parking lot as a result of which each space in the town has turned into an unauthorised car parking space, causing massive traffic jams.
The authorities had earlier identified few places for car parking, however, despite the passage of several years nothing has been done in this regard.
Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Dr Sehrish directed the officials of the administration for immediate action and assured them that some of the issues would be forwarded to the higher-ups.
“For certain issues, immediate orders were passed on the spot. However, some of the demands will be forwarded to the higher-ups for further action,” she said after the conclusion of the event to the reporters.