Supply to be restored in the evening: CE PHE
Srinagar: Several places of Srinagar city including some civil line areas are facing acute shortage of drinking water from last several days. Locals accused the Public Health and Engineering (PHE) Department of being indifferent towards their problems.
A group of residents from the Dalgate told KNS that they are facing shortage of water and the authorities are doing nothing.
“Our area is without tap water for the last few days. We brought into the notice of concerned officials many a days but nobody is paying heed to our repeated pleas,” the residents of Abi Guzar, in the heart of Srinagar said.
Residents of Barbar Shah also complained of water shortage. “We are facing a tough time due to water shortage,” said a group of aggrieved residents from these area.
As per official data, the total water requirement of Kashmir is around 12 crore gallons per day, which includes seven crore gallons in the urban areas and five crore in rural areas. The residents, meanwhile, threatened to protest if the problem was not resolved at the earliest.
Meanwhile KNS also received complaints from various parts of south and north Kashmir where people said they are forced to fetch water from streams and consume contaminated water.
An official of the Public Health Engineering Department said that had the government completed the water supply schemes, there would not have been shortage of tap water.
“A water supply scheme was started over 5-years-ago, which has not been completed so far. We fetch water from a stream for drinking purposes,” Mushtaq Ahmad, a resident of Drugmulla Kupwara, said.
Atleast 173 were allotted for Baramulla, Anantnag 156, Budgam 111, Kupwara 109, Kulgam 101, Shopian 90, Srinagar 98, Bandipora 89, and Ganderbal 73. Similarly, 294 schemes were sanctioned for Jammu district, 168 for Rajouri, Poonch 89, Kishtwar 99, Kathua and Samba 72 each. While for Leh and Kargil distrcts of Ladakh region, 149 schemes were allotted.
However, work has been halted on atleast 1600 schemes due to lack of funds. “Contractors have stopped work on these schemes after government failed to clear their bills,” an official of the Public Health Engineering Department, said.
The official said that state was receiving over Rs 500 crore per annum under National Rural Development Water Programme till 2014.
“Since then, there has been decline in the centre’s funding,” the official said. During 2016-17, the centre released around Rs 230 crore under NRDWP, creating impediments in completion of schemes. The official said that incumbent government is blaming the previous regime (NC, Congress) for starting these schemes without adequate funds.
The official said that state government has failed to make arrangement of funds from own resources. “The issue has been raised with the centre for one time funding for completion of these pending schemes,” the official added.
Public Health Engineering (PHE) officials said that the department was trying to provide adequate water supply to the people in the rural areas.
“We are trying to provide maximum water supply to all areas, but people should also cooperate. They should not waste water or use booster pumps. It creates problem in the distribution,” said a PHE official.
Chief Engineer, Public Health and Engineering Department admitted that there was water shortage in the parts of Srinagar city. “We were shifting water line from TRC which caused problem in providing the water supply to some areas in the city,” Chief engineer told KNS.
He added that they have completed the work now and that the water supply will be restored in all the areas today late evening.
(With input from KNS)