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Announced nine years back, SDH Pahalgam remains on paper

Last Updated on September 15, 2021 at 11:37 am

Pahalgam, a popular tourist destination in southern Anantnag district continues to remain inaccessible to the much needed healthcare facilities. The 50-bedded Sub-District hospital (SDH) Pahalgam, which was announced over nine years back, can nowhere be seen. Government sanctioned the same but it can only be seen on papers.

In 2012, the government approved the construction of hospital and Pahalgam Development Authority was tasked with locating suitable land. But there has been excessive delay in identifying the land stalled the construction of this much needed health facility.

The people of Pahalgam have to travel many kilometers to reach SDH Sallar or district hospital Anantnag for treatment as the existing healthcare facility at the tourist spot is inefficient.

One of the locals said that due to non existing health care facility poor patients have to move to other districts and bear huge travel expenses. He further added that many years have passed since the government announced the construction of a sub-district hospital in the area, but authorities have failed to deliver in reality and is confined to papers only.

He added that they had promised for the up-gradation of the existing health centre, but only name of the dispensary was changed and nothing else.

Another local said that the only season locals get the treatment from the healthcare facility is the annual Amaranth Yatra season as authorities station so many doctors and Para-medics to the hospital for Yatris.

According to an official, land could not be identified with only knowledge of the details as the authorities are yet to implement the master plan. He further explained that it is not possible to find a location for a hospital without a master plan.

He further said that they have advised the government many a times to use the empty building of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department Corporation’s (JKTDC’s) Yatri Niwas complex is located on Circuit Road Pahalgam as it has a lot of spare land rooms, while the existing hospital building can be given to JKTDC in exchange, but the proposal was not accepted for unknown reasons.

Mukhtar Ahmad, Chief Medical Officer Anantnag said that the foundation stone for the hospital will be laid soon near the old hospital buildings as for now they are clearing an old structure on the site and then construction on a new one will begin as funds are available.