Kupwara: The people from the higher reaches of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district Monday demanded the establishment of two separate passenger compartments at Kupwara and Handwara so that people from snowbound areas who get stranded in winter due to road blockade could stay in these passenger compartments.
The residents said that people from Karnah, Machil, Keran, Kumkadi, Jumgund, Safawari, Moori, Budnamal, Mankal, and Monbal often get stranded for several days in Kupwara or Handwara due to inclement weather during winters and face severe hardships.
“Only the poor are destined to face hardships. The well-off people either own their houses in Kupwara or take rooms on rent during winters and escape hardships,” said a local from Machil.
He said that during medical emergencies people from the higher reaches face the brunt as the roads remain closed for several days due to heavy snowfall.
Another resident from Keran, who is staying at a hotel at Kupwara for the past six days, said that he had run out of money and the hotel owner had told him to leave.
“I had gone out of state to earn livelihood but I had to cut short my stay there due to severe illness of my mother. Had there been any passenger compartment at Kupwara, I could have stayed there but I am forced to stay in a private hotel by paying Rs 500 a night,” he said.
Similar demands were echoed by people from heavy snowbound areas of Handwara.
They said that patients from their areas are usually treated at District Hospital (DH) Handwara but every time they suffer due to the non-availability of a passenger compartment.
An attendant of a patient from Monbal Handwara said that it had been two days since his wife was discharged from hospital but due to blockade of road, they were unable to move towards their native village.
“We have been staying at our relative’s house which is not convenient,” he said.
The people from the higher reaches of Kupwara also demanded that during their stay at the passenger compartments, they should be provided free food.
They have sought immediate intervention of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in this regard.