Deluge aftermath: Home wells dry up in Kulgam villages due to flood silt

KULGAM: When Vishav stream swelled during floods in September last year, people in Tankipora village in Divsar, Kulgam, struggled to get rid of flood waters. Today, they are struggling for a bucketful of drinking water.
Most villagers rely on wells dug in the courtyard of their houses for drinking water. Nearly all such wells have been left dry by slimy silt the flood waters spread everywhere, said Muzaffar Ahmad, a local.
“We tried by digging further into these wells but to no avail,” he said.
The water level in the lone spring, which normally has enough water to meet water needs of the villagers, is scarce this time of the year because of scanty rainfall last year.
The women find it hard to haul water from the spring in biting January cold, said Muzaffar.
The situation is as bad in neighbouring Kalam village, with the local residents alleging the Public Health Engineering department has not provided help to tide over the water problem.
Bilal Ahmad, a resident of Tankipora, said digging new wells doesn’t help either because a thick layer of sand and silt at the bottom of the wells prevented proper flow of water.
He said the government must intervene in restoring drinking water supply to the village because the floods have hit the people economically and they can’t afford to dig new wells.
Also, water levels in traditional sources such as Vishaw stream have not replenished so far because of dry weather. This has worsened the situation.
Shabir Ahmad Wani, who works with the Ground Water wing of the PHE department, told Kashmir Reader that water level in home wells is naturally less in winters.
However, the floods have made the situation worse by choking the pores in these wells.
“Domestic wells can go dry. The wells dug by the department use special rigs that go deep into earth to reach the aquifer layer so that an optimum amount of water is drawn,” he said.
“Overall, floods recharge the groundwater sources, but they can cause problem for home dug wells.”
District Development Commissioner Kulgam Nisar Hussain Wani told Kashmir Reader, “We will surely find a solution to this crisis and ask the PHE department to restore potable water supply to these villages.”