SRINAGAR: The residents of Brath Kalan village of Sopore complain that the lack of water supply from last more than thirty years has become a major issue in the area. Due to the lack of a proper water supply scheme, life in the area has become miserable leaving the villagers vulnerable to various water borne diseases.
The village, comprising of four areas, Mirpora, Batipora, Shalpora and Gundpora with a population of nearly eight thousand, is connected to Hardoshiva Water Plant from last thirty years. But due to no water supply, the water pipes have corroded. The locals are forced to use the water from wells that is not safe for drinking. People fear an epidemic as everyday someone or the other is diagnosed with some type of water-borne disease.
“From last thirty years, we have been going from door-to-door but no one seems to be interested. It seems Brath Kalan doesn’t exist for them,” Habibullah, a resident of Brath Kalan told Kashmir Reader.
According to Auqaf President Brath Kalan, Haji Ali Mohammad Mir, the village “has a water connection from Hardoshiva Water Plant but due to long distance the water never reaches us.”
“We have been visiting the concerned authorities from last thirty years but they promise us only to break them,” Mir laments.
It is pertinent to mention that many new water schemes have come up in the adjoining areas for which the water pipes go right through the village. “It seems we have deliberately been left out because our village has remained a hub of separatist and pro-freedom acivities,” an angry Haji Ali Mohammad said.
Haji Ali Mohammad claimed to have visited the Chief Engineer Office in Srinagar, who directed the public health engineering department (PHE) at Sopore to prepare a report about the matter but till now no report has been filed.
He said, “After visiting Chief Engineers Office, we went to local MLA, Haji Abdul Rashid Dar who told us that our issue will be addressed after three years and were told to do something on our own.”
At many occasions, Haji Ali Mohammad said that they were forcibly thrown out of the offices they visited for a complaint and feared if similar treatment was continued with them, they would be forced to commit suicide.
“We are tired of the hide and seek between the villagers and the authorities. People will commit suicide like the farmers committing in other states of India,” Haji Ali Mohammad believes.
The PHE officials at Sopore had recently made a promise to the villagers that they would provide a dedicated supply from Hardoshiva Water Plant when the same plant has failed to provide any supply from last thirty years.
“We are fed up listening to fake promises made to us. The same plant failed to provide us water from last thirty years, how is it going to do it now!” They’ve made a new water scheme in neighbouring Seelu area from which they are going to give water to Saidpora and Dangerpora villages, which are far from this plant and the connections will be taken right through our village, Haji Ali Mohammad told Kashmir Reader.
The locals are adamant to not let the authorities use their lands unless there is an alternate for them as well. “First they should provide water to our village that falls close to the Seelu Water Scheme and then to the villages already getting water from Hardoshiva Water Plant,” Haji Ali Mohammad wished.
In order to investigate the issue, we visited the PHE wing in the town and found the executive officer absent. Assistant Executive Engineer, Riyaz Ahmad at the department attested the fact that Brath Kalan has a serious problem of water supply and they were trying their best to address that.
“They were connected to Hardoshiva Water Scheme but, due to distance, the water could not reach them. We are initiating new schemes that are almost complete, and only the line needs to be commissioned,” said assistant executive engineer, Riyaz Ahmad.
He further said that he would be visiting the site personally and would try to address the issue on priority. “We are definitely going to provide them the connection under the new scheme, which is for Saidpora and Dangerpora and I’ll personally monitor the developments”.
Member legislative assembly Sopore, Abdul Rasheed Dar, told that they were looking into the problem and would do everything possible to provide the villagers a working connection under the new water supply scheme.
“We are looking into the issue and Brath Kalan will soon be connected to the new water supply scheme being established for Saidpora and Dangerpora,” he said.