Concerned about problems, eager to solve them: Shama

Sanjeev K. Sharma

JAMMU: Water crisis and poor road connectivity dominate the problems of Ward number-71 which includes Sidhra and its adjoining areas like Raghoora, Majeen etc.
A visit to the area and direct talk with its residents there brought to fore many prevalent problems of the people.
Shazia Bi-a housewife said, as the National Highway bypass runs through the Ward and there remain a big problem of traffic jams which are frequent there.
She also informed that many accidents also take place on this highway in which many precious lives are lost.
“A big portion of the population in this Ward is that of Gujjars who have main occupation of cattle rearing as they sell milk for making their livelihood,” Chowdhary Noor Din-a milk-seller from the Ward said adding that surprisingly there is no veterinary clinic or dispensary in the area.
Bansi-a load carrier driver said that many areas of the Ward like Palpad, Thathar, Ardhani and Dabar are small hamlets which lack proper road connectivity.
“One has to face many problems while travelling through these areas and these problems multiply in rainy days as the traditional paths get slippery,” he further said.
“There is another small hamlet called Bandee near Mahamaya temple which needs a school as there is no school at present and the students have to travel a lot to reach the nearest school,” a local who identified himself as Roshan informed.
Similarly, school building at Majeen is in dilapidated condition.
“It becomes all hard to bear winter chill and summer heat as the rooms in the school building are not even sufficient to stop water from dropping inside classrooms from roof during rainy seasons,” Sonia-a school girl from Majeen informed adding that the
Government should improve school building by immediately getting it repaired.
Many people from the Ward also complained about lanes and drains, street lights, garbage disposal problems, stray animal problems, poor sanitation and cleanliness etc.
In an interaction with EXCELSIOR, the newly elected Corporator, Shama Akhtar was asked to comment on all these problems of the Ward and she informed about the ways she plan to get solutions.
On increased traffic at the highway passing through her Ward she said that soon speed retarders will be erected so that vehicles may not run harshly over the big road and accidents can be prevented.
She also said that she will visit traffic police to get some cops deputed at the highway to clear traffic jams so that traffic may move smoothly over this road.
On the problem of garbage disposal she said that the garbage is collected in the containers which are removed every alternate day by Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) vehicle. However, she said that more such containers are needed in the Ward.
She also said that lanes and drains in the Ward are in poor and dilapidated shape and she will get work on these to start soon.
“Ward area has increased in its area so the needs have also increased and for these increased needs we require more funds in comparison to other normal Wards,” she maintained.
She said that for certain areas in the Ward which have so far not given any school, she will work hard so that these may get some school.
In a shocking disclosure the Corporator informed that there is no Higher Secondary School for in the area and they have to either go to Bajalta or Mubarak Mandi after passing tenth class.
She also said that there is also no Public Park or play ground in the Ward and said that she will ask the authorities concerned for the same.
“My next priority will be road connectivity and for that I will get the roads black-topped in some hamlets of my Ward where road connectivity is poor,” she informed.
She said that so far only a few streetlights have been given and she will ask for more so that more area of the Ward can be covered by these lights.
On stray animals she said that cattle owners will be asked to keep their animals in their control.
On stray dogs, the Corporator said that it seems that there is no solution but she informed that she will take the issue with veterinary department of JMC for some possible solution.
“Poly bags is also a matter of concern as these have more hazards than benefits,” she said adding that water and power problem in hamlets like Ragoora and Palpad is also in her vision for which she is thinking of some solution.
Shama Akhtar won the Urban Local Bodies elections with a margin of 715 votes after defeating Mumtaz Begum of BJP who had got 1029 votes against 1744 polled to Shama.
She said that her election promises included setting up of vet dispensary in the area, street lights, school, park etc and she had spend Rs 1.50 lakh during her campaigning.
Earlier she was a financial planner with Met Life at JK Bank for 11 years and her husband Mustaq Ahmad is a property dealer by profession.
The Corporator informed that her husband and brothers support her a lot in many of her works which also include caring her little daughter Farihal Jabeen.
Shama also said that she has plans for women vocational centres at her Ward and she is very much concerned about the problem of drug addiction.
She also said that the Golf Course in the Ward should be opened for all.