PULWAMA — The local people of the southern district’s Ratnipora village, under the banner of Citizens Council of Ratnipora, and the residents of adjacent villages said the government should not relocate the proposed AYUSH hopsital from Ratnipora as, according to them, few activists from Pulwama town were misleading the administration.
The Council said that being flood prone does not mean Ratnipora and its adjacent villages do not deserve a government facility. “Most of the Kashmir region is flood prone including the summer capital Srinagar. So, it doesn’t mean that no government structure or facility should come up in these areas.”
The Ratnipora locals said their area has a huge catchment population of villages including Puchal, Mahred, Gulbugh, Hanjipora, Wandekhpora, Goripora and other villages which do not have a health facility.
“A single ISM dispensary with one doctor and two paramedics are catering to more than one lakh population of the area. The proposed AYUSH hospital has come up as a hope for these inhabitants as they had to travel to Pulwama, Pampore or Srinagar for treatment of minor ailments,” Mohammad Hussain, local Sarpanch supporting the Council, said, adding that the Government has rightly proposed the site at Ratnipora, which is state land with hundreds of kanals available for development of more allied facilities.
The Council members said that the local people are ready to evacuate more land, if needed, for construction of healthcare and other facilities.
“Do people in rural areas have no right to have a health facility. Are town people only eligible for it? The spot where the hospital is to be set up has connectivity with highway, Railway station and has a huge population around it,” the Council members said.
It said that the whole valley is flood-prone, barring some hilly districts. “Flood is no reason not to have an area a facility. SMHS, LD Hospital, SKIMS JVC Bemina, Ayush Hospital in Batamaloo, even Civil Secretariat are located in flood-prone areas, as reminded by 2014 floods. Does that mean all these offices should be shifted to hilly areas?” it asked.
It said the Pulwama town is already congested and does not have land available for even car parking, not to speak of constructing big buildings. “The town already has a well-equipped district hospital, old district hospital. In Rajpora town, a Sub-district hospital caters to the demand of nearby villages. Keller sub-district hopsital fulfils the needs of residents of Sangerwani, Abhama, Bamnoo and other villages,” it said.
The council said that people in rural areas do deserve facilities like health and education. It also thanked the administration for considering Ratnipora and other nearby villages for setting up the proposed AYUSH hospital.
It is in place to mention here that the proposed hospital’s location has become an issue over which there is continuing disagreement between the members of Municipal Council Pulwama, locals of Pulwama town and residents of Ratnipora village.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Baseer-ul-Haq has maintained that after taking all criteria into account, the committee, which was formed to review the proposed hospital’s location, would provide its report and a final decision would be made.
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