(Ms. Javeria Khurshid, 25, was born in Jammu and is a resident of Srinagar. She did her schooling at the Simin Rose Garden Montessori, Sanat Nagar, Srinagar, the Gazan International School in Saudi Arabia, and the Mallinson Girls School, Srinagar. She completed her Bachelor's degree from the Government College for Women, Maulana Azad Road, Srinagar, in Sociology, English Literature and Education. She finished her post graduation from the Department of English (in English Literature) from the University of Kashmir in 2011. Presently she is pursuing further studies and preparing for the National Eligibility Test (NET). She has contributed articles to the Greater Kashmir and the Kashmir Times. She is a voracious reader and hobbies include writing, graffiti, drawing, poetry and blog writing.)
Kashmir has become a hub of encroachments and so far no steps have been taken to tackle this problem. Some major functional buildings have been illegally encroached. The main tertiary health care of our State, SKIMS, too is facing this problem. The main road outside this hospital is encroached unlawfully by buses, fruit vendors, and nuts-selling vendors adding to the traffic mess. The buses and matadors have made half of the road their ‘legal’ parking place and the other half of the road is taken by the vendors. The other side of the road is busy with construction work going on for the past many months. It’s almost impossible for anyone to walk within ‘allotted’ space, let alone drive!
The SKIMS Trust hospital, which is situated one kilometer away, is a Herculean distance to cover. The ambulances that need to ply between the two health care systems get stuck in the traffic mess caused by the buses, matadors, fruit-vendors, hawkers, peddlers etc. The distance between the two hospitals is some 5-10 minutes, but it takes almost 1 hour and sometimes more to cover the distance between the two. Emergency patients battle for life owing to the frequent jams. The ambulances, which ought to be given first priority to transit, are left stranded amid the disarray caused by the plying buses and matadors that stop anywhere they like. Vendors and hawkers create frenzy, and they have turned the road into a busy shopping location.
The irony is that all this is happening under the nose of the police station situated nearby. The policemen act as mute spectators of the dismal situation outside. There are no traffic policemen to control, curb and direct the traffic mess outside this emergency hospital. Everyone passing by this place is aware of the grave situation. This speaks of the sorry state of affairs in the valley. Corruption has spread its tentacles everywhere. The men in ‘khaki’ have forgotten their pledge and their duty towards people. The police officers, however, are not the only ones at fault. Having failed to implement effective governance on ground, the entire system and government in J&K is falling apart.