Updated: June 21, 2019 6:45:23 am
“This is something new for everyone here. Till now we would visit different offices with our problems, and those problems were never resolved. They are here now to see the ground reality. I am hopeful something happens,” said Ghulam Nabi, a resident of the Aloosa Ghat Panchayat block as a group of officials from different departments arrived at Aloosa village in Bandipora district Thursday to listen to public grievances.
The visit is part of the J&K government’s massive outreach programme ‘Back to the Village’, which began across the state on Thursday.
Bureaucrats across all levels are visiting every panchayat, staying overnight and spending two days listening to people under the programme, which will last for a week.
Villagers, who were united in the opinion that government officials are coming to their doorstep for the first time, held detailed interactions and shared problems with the team of officers, led by Hafizullah Khuroo.
“We don’t have a health dispensary here yet. For a simple injection, we travel two kilometers,” said a villager.
Another resident pointed out that the village lacks a fire station. “We have been writing to the concerned officials, but they say they need land to set up a small fire station. Can’t they set up a station from a rented building?” asked Ghulam Mohidun.
Officials listened patiently in three villages under the panchayat, and continued to listen to the grievances for nearly three hours.
Some locals took the officers to a middle school, which is without boundaries and has garbage in the vicinity. “Does this look like a school?” said an elderly man.
The team visited a playground submerged due to rise in water levels of the adjoining Wular Lake. “We went to meet the former MLA but nothing was done,” said a student pursuing a postgraduate degree in Sopore.
The villagers said they would wait for a solution to the problems. “This is a good initiative… but we have to see if they (government) resolve our problems or if it is just an exercise to fool people…,” said one Nazir Ahmad.
The team is hopeful of finding solutions after submitting a report. “Villagers have shared with us their basic problems. According to them, they have approached the concerned authorities, but no action has been taken. This time, I have assured them that things will be resolved….,” Khuroo, the visiting officer, told The Indian Express.
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