Tale of a city that has great connectivity!
By: M S Nazki
Poonch is Connected both to Srinagar and Jammu and in the horrific times Covid-19 the surface communications should be open for patient care!
Jammu-Poonch road is open but the travelling distance is longer and the patient being evacuated has to struggle all the way through. On the other hand the distance to Srinagar is shorter and hence the patient can reach the safe hands faster. But the Mughal Road has been shut for reasons unknown. The people want that the road should be open especially now because the times are bad and humanity is suffering like never before! Yet District Poonch does not have the type of patient care facilities as it should be therefore more often than not referrals come into practice and for that travelling becomes a necessity. The newly elected members of DDC’s are vociferous that this predicament needs sorting out!
Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it. Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere. We can’t always understand them, but we have to trust in them. I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith. But at the moment when the virus is making people scramble for life whom should the people have faith in? What is happening Nationwide is well known and what is happening in UT Jammu and Kashmir, comparatively a smaller place is also well known. The Lockdown has been imposed and that is a great thing but it does not necessarily mean that the problems of the people have come down? Survival from the grasp of the virus is the aim but along with it maintaining the family filling up bellies of the children is the next one staring and with the rising prices it is the middle class that is going to face the music, if it is not at the moment. But the moment it is the survival of humanity that has to be of paramount importance and whatever resource is there it should be made available to the people.
Now for example the Mughal Road. Now that the snow has been cleared then it should be open for the people because of the following reasons:
- Distance to Srinagar is shorter from Poonch vis a vis the distance to Jammu when the patient evacuation has to be done.
- With the distance being bigger the patient suffers immensely and even after such a big journey it’s not a surety that the treatment would be available or not.
*There is an option here for the people if the Mughal Road could be opened so that the patients can be evacuated to hospitals situated at lesser distances in the valley.
- They are vociferously saying that last year the road had been closed for reasons unknown but it can be safely concluded that it was to prevent the virus from spreading.
- Now that it has already done so massively with some great assistance provided by our leaders and people themselves then what is the point in shutting down a road which can be used for patients to move to any convenient hospital. The idea is to save lives at any cost?
As regards the same contingency, JKPCC general secretary and DDC member from Surankote-A territorial constituency, Shahnawaz Choudhary along with Sohail Malik, DDC member from Surankote-B territorial constituency demanded opening of Mughal road for general public during this pandemic. Let the normal traffic be under the buckles but at least the patients move? If lives can be saved by shortening the distances then why not take a plunge? Crux of what the duo wanted to say was as follows:
- If the facility has been created to link up Poonch with valley then one purpose remains unresolved. It is fine to travel in normal times to enjoy the scenic splendor, for trade in fact everything else but now when the fatal disease has engulfed humanity it becomes imperative that the road is open for the patients.
- They have been demanding the opening of the road for the past few weeks ever since the covid-19 second furor struck like a lightning blizzard.
- In this regard he has requested DC Poonch, Divisional Commissioner Jammu and UT J&K LG but nothing positive has emerged thus far.
*He also claimed that Mughal road connects Peer Panjal with Kashmir valley where patients can get better treatment during COVID pandemic as the health infrastructure of Peer Panjal region is not up to the mark. It’s not that in Jammu the same cannot happen, but the distance is far too big and the hospitals are over taxed as the patients are growing by the day.
- The DDC member said many students, doctors, government employees and others are facing problems because of closure of Mughal road.
- Sohail Malik was more precise as he said that it takes four hours to shift a patient from Poonch to Srinagar whereas it takes over 16 hours to shift patients from Poonch to Srinagar via Jammu. Thus patients are losing critical hours while travelling and some patients have lost their life in this process and therefore died helpless deaths.
- Both the DDC members said that the administration should reconsider its decision. In fact if pros and cons are looked into, the people are correct! Everyone wants to live and for that one can go to any length. If there is a route available to reach a treatment center faster then why not it be made available to the people?
*Incidentally the people are not speaking very high about the administration and the depleted health care system in Jammu and Kashmir as is the case elsewhere in the country!
I will conclude by saying that the times are distressing. You will come to many crossroads throughout your life hereafter! Sometimes you will be very lucky because both ways will be the right way. Sometimes you will be very unlucky because both ways will be the wrong way! Covid-19 should have taught us many lessons by now and one of the most important I just mentioned to you all above! Just ponder over it!