Gandewara hamlet in South Kashmir faces official apathy

Suhail Bhat
Srinagar, Mar 22: Picturesque Gandewara hamlet in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district is facing official apathy as the hamlet is without an approach road and also lacks basic facilities like water and electricity.
With a population of over 2000 and situated on the banks of Bringi River, Gandiwara hamlet is one of the glaring examples of official neglect. There is no electricity, no drinking water and an unpaved road which turns into mud path with even light rain.
Mushtaq Ahmad, a local, said in year 2010 a school bus bumped against the rock and fell into Bringi River which left six children dead who had come for an excursion to Gandiwara.
“This tragedy moved the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and he immediately visited the spot. He promised that a fully macadamized four lane road and a bridge over Bringi River would be constructed. The bridge would have connected Gandiwara to Kokernag but till now nothing has happened,” said Mushtaq.
He said Omar was also awestruck by the virgin beauty of this mountain village and wanted it to be developed as a tourist place. “But six years have passed and the road to Gandiwara is still a distant dream”, he added.
The other locals said if someone needs emergency medical care they have to take him or her on shoulders and cross the river to take him to the sub district hospital Anantnag. “He or she would die before reaching the hospital through that rocky and rutted road,” they said.
Besides lack of road connectivity, the locals said despite having lots of fresh water springs they have no water to drink and the electricity is for name sake. “The electricity wires are tied to tree, trunks, roof tops and almost everything that is insulating. It can prove fatal anytime,” they lamented.
Block Development Officer (BDO), Manzoor Ahmad, said the work on road has just been taken up and black topping is the only issue right now and for that the road has been put under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY).
When asked about the possibility of constructing a bridge, he said, “Yes, bridge would have solved the matter in no time but it needs lots of funds. It is already in the pipeline but roads are equally important.”

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