COVID-19, militancy-related violence, tourism kept Bandipora in news

Wular Lake restoration got a major push
COVID-19, militancy-related violence, tourism kept Bandipora in news
Police vehicles are seen near Gulshan Chowk where two cops were killed in a hit and run case by suspected militants on 10 December in north Kashmir's Bandipora. [File]Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

The north Kashmir’s Bandipora district in 2021 remained abuzz with headlines related to COVID-19 as one of its villages became the first in the country to inoculate 100 percent population.

Moreover, militancy-related violence also showed a spike, and seven militants were killed in different gunfights across the district while two policemen were also killed in one of the major attacks on the security installations in Jammu and Kashmir.

On June 8, health workers busy scaling the mountainous regions brought positive news about a remote Vewan village, around 20 km from the district headquarters where the entire adult population had been inoculated for the first dose amid the growing vaccine hesitancy among the masses.

According to an epidemiologist Dr Nabeel, 100 percent population from the 18 years and above age group was inoculated for the first dose in the district while 89 percent of the total population was fully inoculated. Though the Line of Control (LoC) covering the Gurez region witnessed calm and heavy tourist flow, Police said that the infiltration took place.

Officials said that after online promotion, the tourist inflow to Gurez crossed 15,000 in 2021.

In mid-July, a gunfight in Shogbaba Forests ended with the killing of three militants.

Another gunfight took place in Watrina village on the outskirts of Bandipora in September in which two local militants were killed.

Two more militants were killed in Chandaji and Hajin areas of the district in separate gunfights.

The work on the restoration of dangerously shrinking Wular Lake gathered pace with the Wular Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA) de-silting 3 sq km of the targeted 3.10 sq km of the critically-silted lake area under the sanction cost of Rs 200 crore.

WUCMA coordinator, Irfan Rasool Wani said 24 lakh cubic metric silt had been removed from the Wular Lake. He said around 1 lakh willows were also removed, generating Rs 21 crore to the state exchequer.

In the healthcare services, much to the relief of the patients, Bandipora District Hospital started the operation of a blood bank and a dialysis unit.

Greater Kashmir