Pahalgam is the choicest visiting destination of tourists all over the country and abroad. Its tourist potential was originally discovered by the rulers of Kashmir. However, with the passage of time, the number of tourist visiting Pahalgam during the scorching summer of Indian plains has increased beyond expectation making Pahalgam a crowded place during summer months. So many hotel, motels and restaurants have come up being the premier tourist destination.
But this destination is devoid of medical facilities which it should have in ordinary course of things. During the pilgrimage months special teams of doctors are deputed and as many as 12 doctors are presenting the small dispensary provided by the Health Department. When the pilgrimage to Shri Amarnath ends, the doctors also leave Pahalgam and the existing dispensary is left with all necessary equipment like X-Ray and other equipment but there are no doctors to handle them and use them. The Governor had once visited Pahalgam and assured the people that a sub-district hospital would be opened in Pahalgam. Many more assurances came from Health Minister promising to open the sub-district hospital but nothing happened. At present the existing dispensary caters to the needs of 3000 people of the adjoining villages but most of the patients have to travel to Anantnag to get medical treatment. The MLA from Pahalgam has been making efforts to convince the Health Department authorities the dire need of upgrading the existing dispensary in Pahalgam but to no effect.
It is highly disgusting that four years have gone by and Pahalgam Development Authority is not able to identify the land on which the sub-district hospital would be constructed. It shows lack of will. The people of the locality have expressed dismay over long delay of opening the sub-district hospital and feel discriminated against. The local people had even advised the authorities to take over the empty building of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation’s Yatri Niwas complex situated at Circuit Road Pahalgam as it has lots of spare rooms while as the existing hospital building can be given to JKTDC in exchange.
They thought it an apt location for the hospital and would save lots of time and money. The building is close to Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) thus making it convenient to dispose of waste. The Health Department should seriously consider this proposal and start the process of dialogue with other departments involved. Pahalgam is a tourist and pilgrim destination and having a sub-district hospital there is a necessity.