ANANTNAG: The leakage in water supply pipes laid by the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department has led to massive soil erosion in many forest areas of Pahalgam in south Kashmir.
The residents of Ganishbal Pahalgam, a hamlet located near the forest area, said that the leakage has completely degraded more than a kilometer of the forest area.
“The water pipes laid down by the PHE authorities have been the reason for the surface erosion of soil over a vast forest area. The continuous rains have further deteriorated the situation,” the residents said.
They said that the soil erosion was posing threat to the entire population living near the forest. “Many trees were uprooted in the forest due to the soil erosion. If the authorities fail to plug the leaks there is every possibility of land sliding. It is a tragedy in making,” said the residents.
A local, Mushtaq Pahalgami, said that he many a times brought the matter into the notice of PHE and forest authorities but they never paid any heed.
“The forest land in compartment 33, 34,35 and 36 have suffered heavy damage due to the water leakage. Both PHE and forest officials are equally responsible. It seems that the authorities are waiting for the tragedy to happen,” Pahalgami said.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Lidder forest division, Himayun Kabir said that he had taken up the issue with the PHE authorities after the issue was brought into his notice last year. “Last year I took up the issue with PHE officials. They had plugged the leaks,” DFO said.
“I will look into the matter and take action accordingly,” he added.