Langate, Sep 16: Hampora village of Langate constituency in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district is crying for water since last 25 years. Both ministers of the popular government and babus during the periods of Governor Rule come to the village, promise heaven but the dream of the villagers to get portable water is yet to come true. Last time Mehbooba Mufti as Chief Minister during Awami Darbar at Kupwara announced a water supply scheme but now after the imposition of Governor’s rule in the state the authorities of PHE department are refusing to take up the work on the water supply scheme citing lack of funds a reason to refuse the take up the work on this water supply scheme.
The villagers while narrating the tale of pain and agony to a news agency said “despite knowing the hardships of the population are facing in this village, the officials are turning a deaf ear to our cries. We have to walk about one kilometer to collect water from a nallah (stream).”
“PHE (department) has never bothered to let the dream of portable water coming true in this village and is now refusing to take up the work on water supply scheme announced by Mehbooba Mufti as Chief Minister during her visit to the area last year. Our pleas fall to deaf ears. Even before the announcement of the water supply scheme for the village our village, along with seven other villages in this area, was supposed to get piped water supply in 1990 under a scheme called Zag Sundree, but portable water did not reaching this village under that scheme also.”
Few months back the residents of Hampora village blocked Kralgund-Langate road and after about two hours authorities persuaded to call of the protest by officials of the district administration with an assurance from Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Khalid Jahangir who directed the concerned authorities to ensure water supply to the affected village but again the Deputy Commissioner too has failed to keep his promise.
When contacted Secretary Public Health Engineering (PHE) Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Farooq Ahmad Shah said, “Chief Secretary has himself visited the district and directed the PHE Executive Engineers both Kupwara and Handwara to complete the languishing schemes by March end next year.
He said that recently in a meeting the issue of water supply scheme of this village was also discussed. They agreed with the Executive Engineer PHE Handwara assured that the schemes will be completed in shortest possible time.
Shah said “Government is quite serious about the water supply problems in district Kupwara for which we have already assured them funding of rupees fifty crores by and before March next year. No laxity on part of officers will be tolerated. They will be accountable and they will ensure safe and drinking water to the people of the Kupwara district.” (KNS)