Bangus Valley residents demand health centre

Bangus Valley residents demand health centre
Bangus Valley is a vast pasture where nomads graze their cattle from April to October.File/ GK

Kupwara: The residents of Bangus Valley in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district have appealed to the health authorities to set up a health centre in the picturesque valley.

Bangus Valley is a vast pasture where nomads graze their cattle from April to October.

Even shepherds from Rajouri, Poonch and Kishtwar visit the valley to graze their livestock.

The residents said that they suffer a lot due to non-availability of a health centre at Bangus.

They said that for a small ailment, they have to walk several kilometers on foot to reach the nearest health centre.

“At a time when some medical emergency occurs, we are forced to shoulder patients on make-shift stretchers. Several patients have died in the past due to the lack of healthcare facilities at Bangus,” Ghulam Piswal of Bangus said. “Few years back when a pregnant woman from Rajouri went into labour, she was ferried from Chowkibal to the nearest health centre but she died on the way. Had she reached the health centre earlier, she would have survived.”

At present, more than 3000 people are putting up in temporary shelters at different locations of Bangus including Lokut Bangus, Bud Bangus, Balyan, Nard Behak, Gatiwali, Nildori, Doban Behak but the lack of better healthcare facilities have always been a concern for the residents.

The residents said that the three approach roads to Bangus including Chowkibal-Kupwara, Rajwar-Handwara and Mawer-Handwara should be made motorable so that people do not have to cover long distances to avail the health facilities.

They also demanded that a veterinary centre should also be established at Bangus so that their livestock could be treated on time in case of any disease.

“Our livestock gets affected with several diseases and non-availability of veterinary officials and medicines affects their health badly. Every year due to non-availability of veterinary medicines, people lose dozens of cattle,” said Muhammad Shafi of Rajwar, Handwara.

Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Imam Din said that from next year, a mobile health centre would be established in Bangus Valley so that people do not face hardships.

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