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Shameema seeks release of monthly emoluments to elderly, handicapped

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Ruhullah rues shifting of DRDO health facility from Budgam

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Thursday expressed dismay over the delay in the release of monthly payments to elderly and physically disabled persons, saying the inordinate delay has left them in lurch during the prevailing crisis.

Party’s Women’s Wing State President and Former MLA Habbakadal, Advocate Shameema Firdous, expressed concern over the delay in disbursement of monthly pension to elderly and handicapped people under various social security schemes. She said that the Administration’s announcement on several welfare measures for families severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic have proved little more than window dressing and playing tricks with the public, especially those who are at the bottom of socio-economic ladder. “Contrary to the claims, the administration has failed to disburse monthly emoluments to old age and handicapped pension beneficiaries. It is expected that the pension which has been held for months altogether will be released without any further delay. The beneficiaries usually utilize the diminutive amount given to them to buy necessary medicines. As the beneficiaries are going without pension for months, it has become difficult for them to pay for their medical bills and other expenditures,” she said.

Calling the initiative of providing relief to laborers half-hearted, Shameema said the pandemic has also played havoc with the economy of the people. “Daily earners, transporters, shopkeepers, vendors, Auto drivers, sand extractors, hoteliers, houseboat owners, shikara pullers, ponywalas and other sections of the society have suffered equally; albeit the government has only chosen to provide relief to only registered ponnywallas. The partisan step has busted the government’s bubble on ensuring sustenance to deprived classes during the prevailing circumstances.  On the other hand paying Rs 1000 per month to ponywalas and others is appreciable but the administration needs to understand that the amount is not going to make any substantial change in the economy of these people.  Government should think over it seriously and take steps to enhance the amount and also include other sections of the society like auto drivers, sand extractors, hawkers who have lost their livelihood due to the ravaging virus,” she added.

Meanwhile, Party’s Senior Leader Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi has expressed dismay over the shifting of DRDO COVID-19 hospital from Budgam, calling the measure gross injustice with the locals.

Voicing against the measure, he said the district Budgam’s varied population espousing suburbs of Srinagar, difficult terrain of Khag, Beerwah and  out-lying areas of Narbal, Magam, BK Pora, Khansahib, Chadoora justified setting up of such a facility to cater to the needs of such a vast populace. “The measure of shifting the facility to a forlorn place crouched up in a sparsely inhabited locality of Khonmoh seems questionable. Now that the administration is shifting the 300 beded temporary facility to Konmoh citing some technical issues which have surfaced post soil testing, I take the findings of the team at face value. However, the central Kashmir district is in a great need of such a makeshift facility to cater to the needs of its population living across the district. I expect the concerned authorities will consider coming up with a similar facility in the district so that locals don’t have to flock to the adjoining areas of district Srinagar for getting treatment,” he said.

He also impressed upon the divisional administration to expedite the process of setting up of a 300 bed hospital at Reshi Pora for which the locals have already donated nearly 100 kanals of land.  He said the locals have been religiously following the proposal. “I expect that the incumbent administration will rise up to the occasion and sanction the project and ensure that the facility comes up immediately,” he said.

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