Pampore, Jul 31: People in Southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district area have accused officials of carelessness, claiming that the Pampore Ghat on the banks of the River Jhelum has been abandoned for many years and that the local authorities are least bothered to restore its pristine glory.
The aggrieved people in Dar Mohalla area of Saffron Town Pampore further claimed that the Ghat had been encroached upon by some individuals over the years, and nothing had been done to reclaim the land not to repair the centuries-old Yarbal (Ghat).
According to Ahsan, a local resident, the municipality began construction on this Ghat some time ago with the involvement of the Mohalla committee, but it was suspended for unknown reasons. “We have filed several applications to the appropriate authority to preserve and reconstruct this age-old Ghat, but we never received a positive response,” he told news agency Kashmir News Trust.
Several shopkeepers have turned the area, surrounding the Ghat, into a dumping site, according to another resident who wished anonymity. “Some miscreants have converted this Ghat, which was formerly thronged by women, children and men, into a dumping ground. For years, we’ve been pleading with the local administration to look into our demands but all in vain,” he added.
He urged the government to take harsh measures against the encroachers and those who are defacing the Ghat site while also suggesting that the government should clear the encroachments over the Ghat and resume the restoration process.
The residents informed KNT that they had sent many letters to the Tehsildar Pampore and Additional Deputy Commissioner Awantipora about the problem.
“There was no action from any official. This Ghat has been there for generations, but owing to the administration’s neglect, it has been in ruins for years,” they stated, adding, “we ask the government to step forward and restore and recreate this age-old Ghat for the benefit of the local community.”
When contacted by KNT, Tehsildar Pampore, Ishtiyaq Mohi-ud-Din feigned ignorance about the issue, saying no letter was sent to him, neither was he approached by the locals in this connection. “The aggrieved should approach me with a letter and I will take up the issue with the local municipality,” he stated.
However, the Executive Officer in Municipal Committee Pampore, Mohammad Iqbal Bhat said that the restoration work of the Ghat has been included in the current year’s ‘works plan’ and also approved by the MC Pampore President.
“The locals did approach me several times over the issue. By the medium of your news agency, I again assure them that MC Pampore will try its best to restore the Ghat to its original condition, by not only removing illegal encroachments but also removing the garbage and debris dumped over there,” he said.