By Syed Nashir Ali Gillani
Srinagar, Mar 18: Closure of Batwara post office, which had been functioning for the last 50 years, for “security reason” has surprised the residents.
The closure order, a copy of which is with this newspaper, was shot on March 6 to the post master concerned by the Chief Executive Officer Cantonment Board, Badamibagh.
“Whereas you are occupying a post office building owned by Badamibagh Cantonnment Board, due to security reasons you are advised to vacate the post office building with immediate effect,” reads the letter.
The post office has been providing postal services to around 25,000 residents of the area from Pandretan to Sonwar.
“The post has been running for the last many years. We fail to understand as to why the security concern has been raised now. Actually, there is something beyond security concern. Probably the board wants to get the possession of the premises for its own needs,” said Bilal Ahmad, a resident.
The residents said it would be difficult for them to visit the General Post Office (GPO) for postal services.
“The GPO is far away from here. We had a facility at the doorsteps, now we have to travel around five kilometres to avail of the facility. Besides, we have to wait in long queues, which gets time consuming,” said Irshad Ahmad Sofi of Pandretan.
The residents appealed the concerned authorities to take note of the closure of post office and maintained that no other location would be acceptable to them.
Superintendent Land Revenue, Cantonment Board, Dheeraj Singh admitted that the post office has been closed because of the security concerns.
“We only wrote to the post office authorities. The Army has closed the post office,” he said.
Vipin Lal Bhardwaj, a senior officer at GPO Srinagar, looking after the issue refused to comment.
“I am at Baramulla; we are not supposed to talk over the issue. You can talk to higher officials,” he said.
However the higher officials could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.