Villagers forced to drink contaminated water from streams
By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: The twin Water Supply Schemes (WSS), constructed at the cost of Rs seven crores have failed to end the water woes of Kamad and its adjacent villages in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district as the local populace is still being forced to consumer contaminated water from the nearby streams and Nallahs, posing great threat to their lives.
The water, according to residents was initially supplied to Kamad and other adjoining small hamlets from decades old Ugjan teng Water Supply Scheme. With the passage of time, the tube well from which the water was lifted and stored in an over head tank dried up, resulting into water shortage. The PHE authorities then started supplying water to the area from Pethbugh spring as well.
However, four years ago, the spring water was declared unfit for drinking after dozens of people from the village suffered water borne diseases, leaving the entire area in water crisis.
PHE authorities, to solve the water crisis in the area, four years ago constructed a new over head tank (OHT) besides digging a new tube well for the same. The project cost of the scheme was Rs 3.50 crore.
However, the locals said, despite spending huge amount on the construction of tube well and OHT, the authorities have failed to supply water to them.
“It was a complete engineering fault as water, after the construction of the scheme did not reach OHT from tube well,” said a resident Bilal Ahmad.
Another Water Supply Scheme meant for Dawoodpora and Tilwanipora, two small hamlets near Kamad was constructed near Sadoora Bridge on the banks of river but, residents say, that too failed to end the water crisis in these villages. This scheme also has been constructed at the cost of Rs 3.50 crore.
A resident of Kamad, Muhammad Hussain said that the incompetence of authorities meant to supply water to the people is responsible for water crisis in the area.
Though many residents have dug tube wells in their house premises but most of the people use the contaminated water from Nallah Brengi and other small but polluted streams.
“For last several years we only see crores being spend on construction of tube wells and OHTs but water crisis continue to worsen with every passing day in the area. LG admin should make these officers accountable for the failure of these schemes which consumed crores of rupees in last several years,” said another resident, Khalid.
Another resident, Mir Mushtaq, giving vent to his anger against the officials of Jal Shakti department on social media demanded that the vigilance organization must probe why these schemes proved useless and faulty despite crores having been spent on them.
“These schemes are only meant for money minting by the officials of Jal Shakti department. People of the area are facing accuse water shortage and are being forced to drink muddy water from streams,” he wrote on his face book wall.
Executive Engineer, PHE division Anantnag, Mohammad Haneef didn’t responded to repeated calls and text messages from this reporter.
However, some weeks ago, the officer speaking to a news agency had admitted that the area was facing severe water crisis and that the department was trying to address the issue.