2000 families of Chilli Pingal in Bhalesa Area of Doda threaten to migrate over non-availability of free ration

By: Mansoor Qadir/ Tahir Nadeem Khan Yusafzai
food-crises-in-doda-district-jkGundoo (Doda), April 29: 2000 ration card holders of two Panchayats of Gundoo in tehsil Chilli Pingal of Bhalesa area in District Doda are up in arms against local administration and political leaders for not providing them free ration since last three months and have threatened to migrate from the area over the issue.
The government’s promise of providing free ration to the flood victims has proved to be a hoax for the poor villagers of this remote and in-accessible area of district Doda, as the residents of worst hit areas of two panchayats of Bhalesa have alleged that free ration has not reached them despite pleading before district administration, CAPD officials and even deputy CM and CAPD Minister who visited Gandoh on 14th of March.
Irked over the attitude of CAPD officials in general and elected representatives in particular, villagers of two panchayats ie Gundoo A and Gundoo B have threatened to migrate from their native villages and stay on the roads if their demands are not met with.
It’s notable to mention here that the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on 17th of September last year declared that 50kgs of ration will be supplied to flood hit people free of cost for six months. According to the reports free ration has been distributed among the consumers of all the major towns of district Doda for six months but the villagers, who are the worst sufferers of the floods have not received last three installments of the free ration.
“We have lost 90 percent of our yield and all the maize fields got destroyed due to massive soil erosion in the floods last year. Since then we are totally dependent on Govt Ration, but despite repeatedly pleading before CAPD officials, we have not received ration since last three months. We even tried to give a memorandum about the same to Deputy CM and CAPD Minister on 14th of March, but Assistant Director Food and Supplies Doda and TSO Gandoh stopped us from doing so and assured that the balance ration will be distributed in next 24 hours but their promise turned out to be false “, said Zahoor-Ud-Din Matto a resident of Gundoo Bani adding that we are apprehending starvation as we are not left with a single grain of ration leaving us with no other option but to start mass migration from our native villages if supply does not reaches our area in next three days.
Similar views were echoed by the villagers of Gundoo B Panchayat, “we are literally living in stone age as our ration dealer used stones as weighing scale since last four years and last year we locked the store and called the SDM who seized the stone which weighed just 22 kg contrary to the dealer’s claim of 25 kg. But till date no action has been taken against the said employee, ” said Ghulam Hassan of village Khan Pura Gundoo adding that they are the worst sufferers of floods and now are totally dependent on government ration supply but since last three months only influential people are getting ration that too during night hours and poor Villagers are forced to suffer.
“I am not aware of all this and we are committed to provide free ration and any official found guilty will not be speared and I am going to initiate an inquiry into the incident tomorrow itself,” said CAPD Minister Ch. Zulfikar adding that any official found guilty of not providing the said amount of ration will be booked and strict action will be taken against the defaulter.