Punjab's border villages express lament over government apathy
Desperate border villagers in Punjab lamented over government apathy towards developmental projects in the area and demanded basic facilities.
Residents living in the border village, Attari, rued the underdevelopment of the region and said that none of their long pending demands had been considered.
A villager, Balwinder Singh, on Tuesday, highlighted the plight of the poor farmers whose lands were occupied by the Border Security Force.
"First of all, the lawmakers do not visit the village, and even if they come they do not listen to our problems. Farmers face a major problem as the Border Security Force (BSF) has occupied most of the land. Projects for the development of our village should be undertaken and no one is paying heed to the problem of road construction," he said.
There are many issues plaguing inhabitants, including a school that lies in shambles, a dispensary with no medical staff, dirty roads perennially dotted with potholes or a perverse lack of sanitation facilities.
Another villager, Gurvinder Singh, expressed his ire against lawmakers for making false promises during elections.
"Lawmakers only come to ask for votes. They never visit the village after the elections. They are not aware about the problems we face. We demand that proper colleges and schools should be constructed so that children from nearby villages can come and study," he said.
Punjab shares a 553-kilometre border with Pakistan. Practically, there are two borderlines between India and Pakistan one is "the Zero Line" that divides the two countries and another one is the barbed fencing erected during the 1990s to keep militants and smugglers at bay.
Farmers in villages along the India-Pakistan border in Attari sector have been demanding compensation for land acquired from them on the Zero Line along the border since 1947.
Hundreds of acres of land fall in the Zero line area. It is nearly a 14- feet wide stretch throughout the border. The Border Security Force (BSF) uses this stretch for patrolling purposes and also to thwart any intruder from Pakistani side.
(Posted on 19-03-2014)