Political Vendetta: Primary Health Centre in downtown functions under open sky 

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Bilal Bashir Bhat
SRINAGAR: The Downtown area in summer capital Srinagar is considered as the heart of city due to its historical importance and significance, however, the ground situation due to the ‘political vendetta’ meeted with its inhabitants exhibits the government’s apathy and ignorance.
There are hundreds of examples with clearly reflects the government apathy towards the development of old city Srinagar among them is Primary Health Centre (PHC) situated in Maharaj Gunj which is not only functional in open sky but has also occupied the land earlier used by locals on different occasions.
The old architectural styled building of PHC which was declared unsafe was proposed to be reconstructed for which the PHC was shifted in nearby open ground, however, over the years the construction work has not yet been surprisingly initiated which not only irks the hundreds of patients visiting on daily basis but also the locals as the only ground in congested area has been consumed by the Health Department.
Khurshid Ahmad Dalal, President Beopar Mandal Maharaj Gung speaking to Kashmir News Bureau (KNB) said, “Population of almost 1.5 lac is depended on this Primary Health Centre, instead it should be converted into Sub District Hospital, the irony is it has been shifted in a shed which causes inconvenience not only to the patients but also the locals, adding, the machinery earlier used in building is now dysfunctional due to the lack of space in shed.”
He said that they knocked every door of the concerned authorities but yet none of them paid heed to their grievance, adding, a high official surprisingly cited the reason of stone-pelting in downtown for delays in construction of work.
Sufi Mushtaq Ahmad a prominent socio-political leader said the step-motherly treatment meeted with the people of downtown undoubtedly reflects the discriminating nature and political vendetta on part of the successive ruling regimes.
The locals while appealing the District Administration, R&B Kashmir and Director Health Services Kashmir to address this grave issue has said that neglecting the downtown’s rich historical background is unacceptable and any move in this regard will be fought  with tooth and nail.
When KNB contact the Chief Engineer R&B Mr. Sheikh Hamid he said that the department is awaiting for a communication from Directorate Health Services Kashmir (DHSK), adding, only after the clearance of DHSK the work will be initiated. “The intervention of INTACH and Archaeology departments is also needed in this regard,” added Mr. Hamid.
In the meantime when KNB tried to contact Dr. Saleem-Ur-Rehman Director, Health Services, Kashmir, he preferred not to pick phone despite repeated calls.
Pertinently, Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, during his visit to Maharaj Gunj assured locals that primary health center (PHC) will be reconstructed in due course of time but yet after passing of three months of his visit no steps have been taken in this regard. (KNB)