THIS is my response to Mr. Raja Muzaffar's article titled "Hundreds of Green Trees Felled for a Nonexistent Hospital"
I read Mr. Muzaffar’s article, and as expected from a climate change champion, he has done a great job highlighting the issues that the Reshipora residents face. What happened in our village was a display of authoritarianism, incompetence, and sheer disregard for ecological health.
Even though none of the locals were consulted when officials decided to cut thousands of trees, the residents complied and agreed to construct a 500 bedded DRDO supported Covid-19 hospital. The situation demanded so.
A district hospital was promised to us decades ago, and now this unexplained decision of shifting the hospital has angered the locals.
We are not convinced with the botched-up explanation of poor soil health as no such report has been made public. The officials’ actions amount to criminal negligence as trees were felled before doing the warranted soil test. We have a bigger question: until the administration decides to construct a hospital, what will the indigenous population do whose livelihood depended on this piece of land. Their interaction with the 71.1 Kanals was beyond feeding cattle. They liked to relax, pray, play, walk, breathe, and eat at Nambal – as we call it – which, unfortunately, has been reduced to a Great Indian Desert.
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