Abid Hussain

Deserted by parent deptt, PHC occupied by paramilitaries

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Gurwait (Budgam), Nov 15: The parliamentary forces have occupied the building of Primary Health Centre (PHC) Gurwait in Khansahib area of Budgam district after the government failed to make it functional.

Located on the Gurwait-Doodhpathri road, some 20 kms from district headquarters, the paramilitary forces stationed here for the forthcoming Panchayat elections, have taken over the spacious structure of PHC.

A local resident from Gurwait said that a month back  forces broke the lock of PHC in the dead of night and took over the building.

It is pertinent to mention that the PHC has three kanals of land under it, which government acquired from a local in lieu of compensation and pledge of employment in 2007, but till date the owner has not received anything.

“In 2007, health officials approached us and assured that we will be given employment and compensation for the land. Eleven years have passed but the government seems disinterested in fulfilling their promises,” said Mohammad Afzal, husband of the owner of land.

He said that government has abandoned the building after completing its construction few years ago.

Before 2007, the land was used for cultivating paddy by the Afzal’s family.

“But now we are left with nothing. We don’t have any other land. Whatever we earn we have spend that on food,” he said adding that his children are without jobs.

He added that the location of the land on the busy Doodhpathri road could have fetched him good money, but he decided against it.

He alleged that once he tried to meet former Block Medical Officer (BMO), Khansahib, however, he was not allowed to enter the office.

Meanwhile, locals said once the PHC is made operational, it would bring health facilities to thousands of people from Gurwait, Mujipathri, Basant Wader, Kachwari, Trajkhal, Raithan, Watred, Dragad, Kralpathri and other areas.

Abdul Rehman, an elderly Gurwait resident, said that they are compelled to visit either Khansahib or Budgam hospitals for treatment.

He added that due to non-functional PHC, they are left at God’s mercy in emergency situations.

The villagers demanded government to settle the dispute with the land-owner and provide relief to people of far-flung areas by making the PHC operational.

When contacted, BMO Khansahib, Dr Masroor Hussain Rizvi said, “As per government circular we can give employment of one casual worker to the owner, and for compensation we can forward the case.”

His senior, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Budgam, Dr Nazir Ahmad Bhat said, “I’ve have not received any complaint from the land-owner thus far.”

About the occupation of the Gurwait PHC building by the government forces, both the officers said that the forces have not sought permission from them.

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