PULWAMA — In the Arampora vicinity of Arihal village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, a Primary Health Centre (PHC) building completed in 2016 by the Jammu & Kashmir Housing Board stands abandoned, stirring frustration among residents.

Despite its construction, the PHC remains idle, forcing the local community to rely on a makeshift three-room Panchayat facility. The lack of adequate space has rendered much of the medical equipment defunct, compelling residents to seek even minor healthcare services at the District Hospital Pulwama.

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Repeated appeals to authorities have fallen on deaf ears, prompting Arihal’s Lambardar, Irshad Farooq, to take decisive action. Witnessing illicit activities plaguing the unused building, including drug abuse and gambling, Irshad locked its gates to deter further degradation.

Irshad’s efforts, along with advocacy from The Kashmir Pulse news portal, spurred action from local officials. Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Dr Basharat Qayoom, pledged to address the grievances promptly upon being approached.

Subsequently, on February 15, Block Medical Officer Rajpora, Dr Jawahira Akhter, and concerned officials visited the PHC building, vowing to expedite its functionalization within a week or two. In response, residents, including the Lambardar, initiated a cleanliness drive within the premises on February 16, buoyed by the authorities’ assurance.

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However, residents are urging officials to honour their commitment and avoid further delays in making the PHC Arihal operational, emphasizing the need for tangible progress over promises.

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