While most government facilities remain grounded due to lack of infrastructure, in a bizarre turn of events a building constructed more than a decade ago to set up a Public Health Centre in Akhran village of Kulgam district has been taken over by drug addicts, local residents allege.
The building was constructed in 2007 and has remained non-functional since then, pointed out members of the Masjid Awqaf Committee in Akhran. “We have to go across the district to access medical care facilities,” said Ali Muhammad Reshi, 68, the committee’s president, ruing that despite the completion of the building a PHC hasn’t been started. “It has become a safe haven for drug peddlers. It should be either closed or become functional for the convenience of common people.”
On failure to set up the PHC, Chief Medical Officer Mohammad Rafiq Dhobi pleaded that the building was not “registered” with the health department. “We are ready to take the building for medical care facilities but the building had been hit by floods in 2014. It is in a dilapidated condition right now. Once the building is renewed, we will take no time to adopt it.”
Bilal Mohi-ud-din Bhat, Kulgam’s Deputy Commissioner acknowledged that the building in Akhran had become a safe haven for drug abusers but assured that the work on the building will be restarted soon. “The work had started earlier but it couldn’t continue due to the pandemic. Medical department of Kulgam has also been informed about the building. It will be made functional this year.”