Poonch people not happy with performance of Tantray, say basic problems persist

Ex-MLAs’ Report Card, Constituency: Poonch, Shah Mohd Tantray (PDP)

Gopal Sharma

POONCH: Like most of the other Assembly Constituencies, the general people from Poonch-Haveli Assembly Constituency of Jammu region, are not happy with the performance of former PDP legislator, Shah Mohammad Tantray, the local public representative. They claimed that most of their problems are still same even after four years and there is hardly any change in the facilities. They said majority of the promises made by Tantray have remained unfulfilled. The people mostly from remote areas of this constituency are facing water and power shortage while the road connectivity is also poor. This has remained the cause of accidents in most of the cases in this hilly and border district.
Shah Mohd Tantray, a former officer from SICOP and hailing from Loran area of Mandi Sub Division had quit job to contest election on PDP ticket in 2014. He secured more than 19,400 votes and defeated NC candidate and former MLA Aijaz Jan. People had high hopes from the PDP Legislator, but even many those from his own area, mostly spoke against him when the Excelsior team paid extensive visit of the constituency and collected feed back from the general public recently.
Ex-Sarpanch Master Khadam Hussain from Loran expressed strong resentment over the road condition from Mandi to Loran. He said this is the old demand of the people of this area to upgrade and improve this road. No new PMGSY road was sanctioned in this tehsil. He said there is no road for Beenat Kanju and Nallah village where population is more than 1000. There is no road to Gadra and Sarah Wali villages having more than 600 population. There is no power supply and PHE water supply to Dhara Wali village. He said some repair work was initiated during summer on this road near Mandi but its speed was very slow.
Muzaffar from Sultan Pathri area of Loran said that ration supply position is grim. Power supply is available hardly for 10-11 hours in 24 hours. PHE pipes in many hamlets are lying broken and the public has been left to suffer. People have not been paid their NREGA payments for 1-2 years. There is only one doctor in PHC and other staff is also inadequate. There is No Lab Assistant and X-Ray Assistant at local hospital. The pace of work on Loran Sultanpathri Road is also very slow. The earth work hardly 7 kms has been executed. From here the road is proposed to be connected with Gulmarg/Tangmarg, he added.
One Sadar Din from Lahel Bela alleged that water and power supply to the village is grim. Poles are broken in many adjoining hamlets and live cables have been fixed on the trees by the PDD field staff posing threat to the lives of people. Even ration is made available after 2-3 months and that too, not full quota. Mohd Bashir from Chikri Ban alleged that transformer if damages is not replaced even after one month. People are left to suffer. He said in Markot Middle school, there was only one teacher in school and two teachers who were placed, managed their attachment somewhere else.
Mohd Taz from Mandi said water supply position was almost satisfactory but power curtailment was more than 10 hours a day. He said in some localities water supply is also grim due to damage caused to pipes and leakages. He said ration supply in Mandi town was by and large satisfactory. However, in CHC Mandi, there is shortage of doctors and other paramedical staff. There is no parking place in hospital and also in the town. There is need to widen the road and prepare parking space. A Bypass Road is being constructed to divert traffic and this is good initiative taken by the Administration.
One Tariq Mehmood from Sawjian said that there is need to improve road condition, water and power supply to the area. He said the transformers if damaged are not replaced even after 2 months and pubic is made to pay bills as per flat rates. Due to snow in winter months, the water supply remains affected in the area. At local PHC against the sanctioned strength of 5, only one doctor is placed. From Sawjian to Khet, there is GREF road. He said in Sawjian there are 8 Panchayats and one Higher Secondary School. This is home village of former NC MLA Aijaz Jan. He executed some works in the area but there is still much more to do in terms of road connectivity, power, water supply and health care. There are no poles in many areas and water pipes are broken.
Mohd Arif from Sathra (LoC) also projected the power and water problems and claimed that there is no doctor in local hospital. For MGNREGA works, the labourers have not been paid for the last about two years by the concerned RDD staff. Bashir Mohd and Abdul Gani from Gali Pindi LoC village said that power supply position and grim and the water supply always remained affected due to broken pipes. The electric poles are missing at many places. Ration supply by CAPD is hardly made available. For toilets Rs 12,000 is being provided but concerned BDO office staff demands Rs 2000 as commission for release of money and people are made to pay.
From Chandak, one Mohd Yousuf said that power supply position in the area is pitiable and with this water supply has also been affected. The people get power for hardly 7-8 hours a day. The water supply is not regular and it is given hardly for 15-20 minutes. The MGNREGA liability of the labour class has not been cleared for the last 2-3 years. Karamat Hussain from Bandi Chechiyan, also projected water and power problem and alleged that entire belt up to Shahpur belt is facing crisis of similar nature. He said ration supply is being provided to the people but it is not adequate.
From Shahpur Qasba one Mohd Abdullah said that road condition is worst and needs immediate attention while, position of water and power supply is also not good. Health facilities for the public are also inadequate moreover, even for small ailments cases are referred to District Hospital.
Said Akbar from Jullas, Mohd Farooq from Darra Dullian and Jalal Din Salotri also projected the main issue of water and power crisis. They said if the power supply position is improved, the water supply will also get improved. They said there are no sports facilities for the children of the area. Road condition is also not good. The area is hardly 10 kms from district headquarters but road has not been properly maintained. Similar problems were raised by the people from Degwar and Gulpur areas. They further added that people are waiting for the NREGA payments for the last 2 years in many Panchayats.
Manjeet Singh from Poonch town said that Ex-MLA Shah Mohd Tantray is hardly seen in Poonch city. His main focus is on Loran and Mandi areas from where he belongs. He said no development works were taken up by the ex-MLA during last three and half years. The lanes were not improved for the last more than 10-12 years, many drains are broken. There is no proper cleanliness in the city. Water supply position is grim in the town and specially in Wards 10, 17 and 18. There is unscheduled power curtailment.
Satish Sasan, a prominent citizen from Poonch said there is no change in the town with regard to the facilities. Things are in same position as it were five years ago. Water supply position is grim. No filtration plant has been established in Poonch. The people are getting unhygienic water. People are suffering due to low voltage and unscheduled power cuts. He said Poonch never remained priority for the former MLAs hailing from Mandi.
A retired teacher, Sunita Sharma from Poonch said no new park was developed or roads or lanes improved in Poonch city during last four years. There is no proper street lights. Drains in the city remain choked.
Shah Mohd Tantray, when contacted, said that Poonch-Mandi-Loran road is being upgraded with the cost of Rs 34 crore. Moreover, two more roads Loran to Sultanpathri and Loran to Bera Bella have been sanctioned. He said Ziarat Shahpur Road with the cost of Rs 13 crore has been sanctioned recently and the work is going to be started soon. He said work on Mandi- Loran Road is also going on and it will be completed shortly. Rs 11 cr have been sanctioned for Mandi-Gali Maidan road. Another road from Degwar to Norkot with the cost of Rs 9 crore was sanctioned during this year. Bandichechian -Banpath Dhogri road with cost of Rs 10 cr has also been sanctioned. He said work on 38 kms Loran- Tangmarg road has been taken up and 14 km fair weather road has been completed.
Referring to water supply, Tantray said 10 new Water Supply Schemes were approved for Poonch-Haveli and work on them is going on. A new playground is being created in Mandi and a bridge on bypass road with the cost of Rs 11.25 cr is nearing completion there. It will ease out traffic problem. He said for Poonch city, there are two coalition MLCs who are taking better care of that area.