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Warwan: Valley that awaits the basic touch of ‘development’

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By Sameer Ahmad

Anantnag: A remote Tehsil of Kishtwar District “Warwan” about 250 Kms away from main District Kishtwar and 120 Kms away from District Anantnag is still living on 90’s life as the Tehsil still cut of the state capitals and untouched by all the facilities technology and advancement has brought to even rural areas. Solar lights is what lights the warwan for electricity, among many other things including better health care avenues, is still a dream.

In the digital era, the people of 15 villages in Warwan Tehsil still face basic amenities in this modern age of globalization. The absence of basic amenities, including electricity, potable water, health center, mobile connectivity and road connectivity, has added to their woe.

The Warwan villagers didn’t know about the electricity. The residents claim that their children are not able to study properly under the candlelight. In 15 villages of Warwan tehsil, there is only one higher secondary school. “There is no college, as our children’s have to go either Kashtiwar or Anantnag after 10th which is very far from our villages”, said a local resident Azad Malik.

The residents still use wood to cook their meals. The maximum households now bought Solar Lights for electricity purposes. The villages sans the tap water supply. Majority of the villagers have developed various water-borne diseases due to consumption of contaminated water. Recently outbreak of Hepatitis-B was reported in the remote village of Dachhan-Marwah areas of district Kishtwar.

“The government has forgotten our tehsil and has failed and does not even provide us with basic amenities”, Azad claimed. WarwanTehsil faces basic healthcare facilities. The non-availability of facilities and understaffed sub hospitals in Warwan Tehsil speaks about the poor state of affairs in the health department.

There is only one Government Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Aafi Village that craves for adequate health care facilities as the Centre is poorly staffed and lacks basic amenities.

The Health Center is working with only seven to eight members of staff including three doctors. The paramedical staff is almost non-existent. “There is no specialist appointed for any kind of disease”, said Azad Nabi, a local resident. He also added that there is no maternity and Childcare Hospital (MCH) as the PHC fails to provide pregnancy care. “Not a single test is done there. The centerlacks testing apparatus. ECG, and even X-ray machines are not there. How can one rely on it? It’s a waste of money and space” Azad said..

PHC Aafi village caters to a 15 village’s population of Brayan, Chidraman, Aafi, Basmina, Gumri, Rekinnavas, Sukhnai, Muladwan etc. However, the PHC fails to meet the expectations of patients due to lack of staff, infrastructure and key diagnostic facilities.

For specialized treatments, hundreds of patients are referred to District Anantnag hospital or Srinagar hospital on daily basis. According to Azad there are no ventilators available in this hospital. PHC Hospital, Aafi village also lacks super specialist doctors and the neurosurgery, cardiovascular thoracic surgery, cardiology, urology and gastroenterology units which are manned by a single super specialist.

The conditions of roads in Warwan Tehsil are appalling and it seems the road has never been macadamized since its existence.

At least 12 thousand people are living in 17 villages in Tehsil Wardwan District of Kashtiwar where the people don’t know till this 20th century about the basic necessities like electricity, mobile networks, macadamized roads, colleges, universities, hospitals etc. The Tehsil is still bereft from digital-modern age.

With no decent cellular networks (no mobile tower in villages on any side) zero internet connectivity, lack of connectivity from two capitals Jammu and Srinagar, the odds seems to be clearly stacked against Warwan  Tehsil to go digital.

The people of Warwan still walk miles away to make phone calls to their nears and dears. “We always have to walk miles to make phone calls due to no network in area. There is only two or three PVT (Public Village Telephone) in three villages where the villagers make phone calls”, said Altaf Hussain, another resident of Warwan.

The people of Warwan prefer to marry in Kashmir instead of Kashtiwar and Jammu. Hundreds of households migrate from Kashtiwar to Anantnag because of lacking facilities in all fields. “People here want to survive but everyone including politicians ignored us”, Altaf added.

According to Altaf Hussain, Warwan is a beautiful valley situated and comprises of attractive meadows and beautiful springs surrounded by forest and mountains but, unfortunately, it is neglect by the government.

Perched at an altitude of 14,000 ft, the Margan Top one of the famous springs in valley Margan Top become a tourist attraction for being one of the most beautiful mountain tops of the Himalayan region in south Kashmir. Situated at about 45 km from Kokernag, this mountain pass is the gateway to a hidden valley called Warwan. Surrounded by beautiful meadows all around, the Margan Top boasts of a 360-degree view with Kashmir valley on one side and the Warwan valley on the other. Its name is derived from two words; Mar meaning death and Gan connoting valley. For its unpredictable weather conditions.

According to Altaf Hussain, in elections, the politicians promised us to make a Tunnel from Anantnag to Warwan but they are playing with our emotions and betray us due to these fake promises. He added that the government should consider making this tunnel so that we people will connect with Kashmir and live a happy life.

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