A model village of negligence

Two kilometres from Islamabad Town, Muniwar village has no more facilities than a remote hamlet.

Hamidullah Dar

Muniwar-1

If a person is air-dropped in the centre of Muniwar hamlet on the road that connects it to Srinagar-Jammu highway and asked to find a way out of the village on foot, he can leave from any side but the road. It is more of a stinking serpentine stream than a road. When roads in far flung areas are black-topped, Muniwar, just two kilometres from Islamabad town in South Kashmir, has one mud- topped with deep craters.

“No one cares for us. R&B (Roads and Buildings) department is at a stone’s throw from here but officials have shut their eyes,” says Ghulam Mohammad Dar, a sawmill owner who lives in the village.

With an official record (Revenue history) of more than 300 years, Muniwar has one of the oldest roads in the district. Revenue department records corroborate that Muniwar had a road connectivity in 1920. However, for the last 30 years, inhabitants here have been facing numerous hardships as government seems to have ignored this village completely.

“We have been running to every quarter to redress of our problems pertaining to basic amenities. Even present MLA, Mufti Sayeed, during his election campaign in the village felt ashamed to see the condition of road,” say Bilal Ahmad, a university student. “But to no avail.”
The village was among the first in Islamabad district to get water supply in 1979. But five years later, the taps refused to run water.

According to the residents, people from other villages took illegal connections in connivance with the Public Health Engineering department rendering the network of supply pipes useless.

“It is shameful that in post modern era our village lacks water supply. People here have sunk tube wells to procure water which is unhygienic,” said Rabia Ishrat, a 12th class student.

Bad road is not the only problem with the village. With a student population of 500 from class 1st to 10th, this village has a single primary school.

“The school in our village was established way back in 1962. For the last 47 years the school has not been upgraded. A number of children, mainly girls, used to quit studies after primary as they had to walk a long distance to another school,” says Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, a government employee.

Muniwar has a population of 3800, but doesn’t have a Primary Health Centre. “Smaller hamlets have PHCs in nook and corner of the state but ours. With this dilapidated road, a mishap often turns into a tragedy,” says Irtiza Mohammad Dar, another resident.

The rainy season, according to residents, opens a Pandora box of problems for the people.  “We are restricted to the four walls of our homes in rains. We should be given backward area status for, we posses all conditions necessary for it,” says Abdul Rashid, a businessman.

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