Sopore: A used diaper was found in a water pipe in apple town Sopore on Friday when the locals were trying to find out reasons for disrupted supply to many areas.
Reports said that many dirty things including used diapers came out from a water pipe in Jamia Qadeem area of Sopore when locals were trying to remove blockade in supply lines. “We were shocked to find a diaper in a pipe supplying water to our locality,” a local resident told Kashmir Reader.
“We are supplied dirty and untreated water which has caused many water borne diseases in the area. Our children fall ill frequently because of this water and diseases like diarrhea, abdominal pain, typhoid and fever are very common here,” said Hafizullah, president of Jamia Qadeem area of Sopore.
The problem of contaminated water supplied to Sopore is not recent. Residents of Jamia Qadeem, Chankhan, Hathishah and Naseem Bagh areas of Sopore town have been complaining about the acute shortage of safe drinking water and alleged that they have being forced to drink contaminated water from river Jhelum.
Locals alleged that people of the town are being punished for their political beliefs and affiliations. Sopore has been a hub of separatist politics and has remained on the forefront of various agitations. Militants have given sleepless nights to Indian troops in Sopore forcing authorities to declare it a separate police district some years ago. “Supplying of contaminated water to us is deliberate. We are being punished for political reasons,” a teacher from the area told Kashmir Reader on condition of anonymity.
The people of the town claimed that they are left with no option but to consume dirty and contaminated water, which has not only small insects and suspended particles but even used diapers in it.
Mushtaq Ahmad, Imam of a local mosque said that because of drinking unhygienic water, his nine year old son has been ill from last three months. “He has got some water born disease which has made him sick. Many such cases have been reported in the past as well but nobody seems to be listening,” Mushtaq said.
Sources in the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department told Kashmir Reader that workers don’t give proper treatment to water before supplying it to consumers in Sopore. “Who says there is a filtration plant? It is just a water reservoir. All we do is to put some alum in water to settle dirt and add some bleaching powder to it. Even when adding bleaching powder, some specifications are to be followed but who cares?” he said.
Ironically, water supplied to the Shrakwara filtration plant comes from Ningli stream, whose banks are dotted with toilets and heaps of garbage that directly flow into the water body. Also, the water pipes in most parts of north Kashmir run through drains and there is every possibility of the highly contaminated drain water seeping into the supply lines.
When this reporter tried to get official version on the issue, mobile phone of concerned Executive Engineer, PHE Sopore remained switched off throughout the day on Friday.