Pahalgam students forced to travel 50 kms for college

ESS AHMAD. Dated: 10/31/2017 10:46:04 AM

PAHALGAM, Oct 30: The state government might be spending crores of rupees on tourism infrastructure in Pahalgam, one of the favourite tourist destinations but has failed to establish a degree college in the area.
Residents of the area complain that students of remote villages of Pahalgam Tehsil prefer to quit their studies only after higher secondary level due to the absence of college in the area. "It is a distance of around 45 kms up to Anantnag. People of this Tehsil are not economically that sound and many poor students who cannot afford to travel such a long distance daily prefer giving up their studies of after higher secondary level," said a local resident and local social worker Mushtaq Pahalgami.
Pahalgami said that some students of the far off villages of tourist spot who can even afford the travel expenses also quit studies or chose correspondence mode for higher studies to avoid the trouble of long travel on daily basis to reach the college. "We have been fighting for the setting up of college since 2012 when colleges were granted to almost all other areas. We even made a representation to the then chief minister with regard to our demand who assured us of meeting our demand. But irony six years later is that the college is nowhere," Pahalgami said.
Pahalgam Tehsil has a population of around 1.30 lakhs. In 2011 the state government sanctioned colleges to almost all Tehsils of Anantnag district but Pahalgam Tehsil was left out.
The livelihood of most of the people in the area is associated with tourism.
"No doubt the successive regimes have been promoting tourism here but on other fronts they have completely ignored the area. It is irony that a Tehsil consisting of a huge populace has no degree college," said another resident Zahoor Ahmad.
"The education scenario in Pahalgam is very grim. Besides promoting tourism, government should focus on the upliftment of education of the area. We don't want the college should be set up in Pahalgam town only authorities should identify some centrally located place in the Tehsil for setting up of college so that students of this area are not forced to quit their studies half way," Zahoor said.
Local MLA, Altaf Ahmad Wani, however, said that he has aggressively fought for the setting up of college in Pahalgam area.
"Government has assured me that college will start functioning in the area by next session. Even the land has been identified foe the same," MLA said.



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