Srinagar: Parts of Srinagar city are experiencing water crisis even though Public Health Engineering department says that sufficient water supply is supplied to the summer capital.
While the authorities cite misuse of drinking water by some people as main reason for scarcity of water, people on the other hand blame the authorities for having no mechanism in place to deal with the problem.
Water scarcity has become a major problem in various areas of Srinagar including Batamaloo, Rambagh, Barzulla, Natipora, Chanapora and other adjoining areas as residents aver that authorities have not been paying heed to their demands.
“We are facing a lot of problems as PHE has not been able to restore water supply to our area from the past several days. We hardly do receive the tap water these days. Mostly we have to be awake whole night for water to fill out tanks,” said Fayaz Ahmad Khan, a resident of Batamaloo.
He said if the Valley had dry features water scarcity would have made some sense, “This year we received sufficient snowfall. We have rich water resources and abundant reservoirs. It is shame on authorities that we are suffering from scarcity of drinking water.”
With no round the clock drinking water supply, most of the times residents have to come on roads to block the traffic to convince the authorities to restore the supply.
“Few weeks back we had to send our women folk on the streets to protest against the problem. They blocked the traffic near Iqbal Park for long time. Only then the authorities paid heed to our problems. We received the uninterrupted supply for few days, but later the situation was same again,” said Zahoor Ahmad, another resident of Batamaloo.
“Water is not a luxury, but a necessity, how can the authorities expect us to live without it,” he added.
The PHE authorities say that they are supplying adequate drinking water supply to the Srinagar city on regular basis.
“We supply 67 million gallons of water every day to the Srinagar city which is more than sufficient to fulfil the basic needs. But some people misuse drinking water for construction purposes and watering their lawns and gardens,” said Ahmad Muzaffar Lanker, Chief Engineer PHE, Srinagar.
He said that they have constituted special squads to conduct raids in different areas where from they get complaints. “Our teams fine those who are involved in misusing the water. They mostly seize water boasters connected with the main water lines. We have seized hundreds of motors so far during this season,” said Lanker.
However, people blame that special squad teams as announced by PHE is all fabricated to mislead the people.
“The field-staff of the department are supposed to remain in their respective areas and keep eye on water supply system, but we hardly see them doing it. There is no mechanism for the department in place to remove bottlenecks on ground,” said Ghulam Ahmad of Chanapora. He also said that the PHE department also lies that they supply water in the areas that suffer from water scarcity through mobile water tanks, “We hardly do see our problems getting redressed by such things and most often we have installed deep ground taps and wait during the night to get the supply.”
While Lanker said that his department has kept toll free numbers to receive grievances from people. “Our department is doing everything for smooth water supply in the city. Beside we have kept 16 mobile water tanks to meet the requirement of the people,” Lanker told Kashmir Reader.