The Curious Case of a ‘Missing’ Transformer, and Minister’s Promise

Zafar Aafaq

SRINAGAR

A KL file Image
A KL file Image

Watkul Ahangar Mohalla,  a small non-descript village, some fifteen kilometers from Chadoora town in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, lacks basic facilities required for survival in 21st century.

The village has ‘footpaths of mud’ interlinking its different neighbourhoods. The road that leaves the village towards Chadoora does not carry any tar-coal topping.

“Thirty years ago, this road saw some repairing when R&B Department had put in gravel on the track,” said Bashir Ahmad Ahangar, a resident of Watkul. “Over the years that road became poor for traffic moment.”

The village is electrified but it seems to lack the purpose. The only transformer in the village needs frequent repairs. “The transformer needs a check-up twice or thrice a month,” said Abdul Hamid, “no technician or engineer comes here to fix it, we pool in money and take it to receiving station Chadoora for repairing ourselves.”

Twenty days back the transformer developed a snag. The villagers said that some employees from power department came and took transformer with them. Expecting repaired, next week the villagers went to get back the transformer from Chadoora receiving station, “the employees there told us: we have no information about your transformer.” “The whereabouts of transformer are still unknown.”

The village has also a health centre but it has been rendered ill. It is housed in a two room small building. “The health practitioner posted here is not punctual,” claimed Mohammad Yousuf. “He comes to the hospital only for two three days a week; he arrives late and leaves early.”

In the event of any medical emergency, the villagers carry patients on wooden stretchers to reach the hospital due to lack of facilities at health centre.

“Some months ago we asked our Lawmaker Gh Nabi Hanjura of PDP to provide an ambulance to health centre,” said Abdul Hamid Ahangar. “Sensing the need, the Lawmaker agreed to arrange an ambulance but the demand has not been fulfilled so far.” Hanjura is Agriculture Minister in the ruling coalition government.

The villagers claim that during election time Hanjura had promised them development but the promise is yet to come into practice.

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