Winter Woes | Amid chill, Gurez villagers forced to walk several kilometres to collect ration

Bandipora, Nov 15: The twin Gurez villages of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district are fuming over the administration’s indifference in making a nearby ration collection facility available to them.

The villagers of Nayal and Kanzalwan in the Bagtore area of Gurez Valley said that the stores constructed in the village were locked as no ration from the Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) Department was kept available there.

“The winter has approached and it gets quite difficult for us to travel several kilometres to collect ration,” said Sadullah Lone, a villager.

He said no matter the age, they were forced to walk long distances to collect ration.

“It has been years now that we have to travel each month to collect the ration,” he said.

Lone said that with the onset of winter and heavy snowfall, it becomes impossible for them to walk out of their homes and requested the authorities to keep a nearby ration store available for them.

They said that the public transport in the villages is almost near to zero which adds to the burden of collecting ration, some 4 km away.

“For years, we have been requesting the authorities to make the ration stores in our villages functional so that we get some relief, but no one seems to pay heed to our pleas,” Block Development Council (BDC) Bagtore member, Mukhtar Ahmad Lone said.

He said that the villagers had been coming to them with consistent demand for a nearby ration availability, but no one seemed to listen to their pleas.

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The BDC member, along with a group of villagers, now made a plea to the concerned authorities to provide them with ration collection availability nearby or face protests.


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