Threat to National Security: Many Rohingyas live in Ward 49

Open defecation by labourers, road closed by Armed Police dominate problems

Sanjeev K. Sharma

JAMMU, Dec 24: Believe it or not-a large population of illegal immigrant Rohingyas are living in 60 shanties (Jhuggies) at different places in Ward number 49 of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) and they work as scrap collectors while moving in streets, searching in garbage dumps and at other places for the scrap or polythene which they sell to earn money.
Informing more in this regard, Kamal Singh Jamwal, Councillor of the Ward said these Rohingyas pose a threat to security of the nation as time and again their involvement in anti-national activities was exposed.
In an exclusive interaction with the Excelsior, Jamwal, who politically belongs to Congress and is a second time Councillor informed that vacant plots allotted by J&K Housing Corporation are there in his Ward and owners have rented them to labourers who are 3000 in number having illegal water and power connections and they defecate in open.
He said that areas of his Ward include Shankar Nagar, all Transport Yards of Narwal, Fruit and Vegetable Mandi, Rajput Mohalla, Ravi Dass Mohalla, Channi Rama Mohalla, Chinar Colony, Pamposh Colony, GTB Nagar, Malik Market and Pendroo Mohalla.
The Councillor said that during COVID-19 pandemic Armed Police Lines in the Ward had closed a vital road which formed an important link between all the four Channis-Channi Rama, Channi Kamala, Channi Himmat and Channi Beeja and the road has so far not been opened which is adding to the problems of the locals.
The Councillor said that there are five Nallahs in his Ward of which only the one at Pamposh Colony is being constructed for its 600 meters stretch and rest all are in bad shape and some Nallahs are even more than 100 meters in width like the one near Wave Mall.
“In rainy season these Nallahs have flood and the water enters residential houses causing damage while roads, drains and lanes are also damaged in these floods and path has also been washed away at Jakhi Mohalla near Shiv temple due to these floods,” he maintained adding: “Unfortunately none of the concerned departments has taken a note of this calamity while houses have started sinking at some places near these Nallahs for which construction of retaining wall and placing of crates is the only solution which has not been done so far and the people have to cross the Nallah to reach their houses as path has been washed away.”
The Councillor said that there is encroachment at Nallahs and their adjoining places by those living near these big drains and he has already written to DC Jammu in this regard.
Jamwal said that construction and repair work of lanes and drains is only 40 per cent complete in the Ward due to shortage of funds but blacktopping work is about 70 per cent done.
“Street Lights are almost installed in entire Ward barring the stretch from railway overhead bridge to Narwal Chowk where even poles have not been fixed so far, what to say of Street Lights,” he continued.
The JMC Councillor informed that stray dogs have created a lot of problems in the Ward.
“These canines not only litter here and there but also bite people and chase two wheelers and have created a wave of terror among women, children and old age people,” he said.
Jamwal informed that his Ward is spread over 4.5 sq.kms and there are four parks which are not properly maintained and there is open air gym in one of these parks while lights are also there in these parks but none of these parks have any High Mast Light and there is no gardener to maintain the parks properly.
He also said that there is no playground and no parking place for vehicles in the Ward while there are four Community Halls of which one is under construction and apart from this there are two ponds also among which development work of Rs. 1.5 crore is going on at one while the second one has been properly fenced.
“There are three public toilets at Narwal area of the Ward and there is a Health Centre, Ward Office and Public Bathrooms but public transport system is almost absent in my Ward,” the Councillor said.
Jamwal said that there are 24 Safai Karamcharis in his Ward while there is a need of 80 but still the Ward is clean by proper use of the available workforce.
The JMC Councillor claimed that water supply in his Ward is made after alternate day and presently there are power cuts also while Smart Meters have been installed there without protests.
“Damaged poles are also there in my Ward while the insulated cabling laid there is of sub-standard quality as at many places it got burnt,” he stated adding that water coolers are there in the Ward at religious places and these are in good working condition.
Jamwal also said that there is one graveyard and two Shishu Smadhis in the Ward and all are in good condition.
He said that autos collecting garbage by moving from door-to-door are doing a good work and after this service was introduced, number of garbage dumps have reduced in the Ward.
The JMC Councillor said that almost all the residents of his Ward have made their Ayushman Cards and most of the eligible Voters have got their Voter Cards and same is the status of Domicile Certificates in his Ward.
“Though many widows, physically challenged and old age persons in the Ward are getting pension but the newly introduced rule for these pensions exclusively to Below Poverty Line people is creating problems for others,” he said.
Jamwal informed that house numbering has not been done in the Ward so far but a survey in this regard is underway presently.
“There are reports about thefts involving iron gratings from drains in the Ward and there are also many drug addicts and peddlers active in the area for which the police should take a cognizance,” he said adding that about 3-4 colonies are not regularized in the Ward and there is a need of about six High Mast Lights in the Ward while presently there are only three such lights.