No effort made to restore it after army vacated it in 2000
By Sherfun Nisa
Kulgam: A filtration plant, which ceased to be a filtration plant soon after army occupied it 26 years ago in Pariwan village of Kulgam district, has not been revived by the successive governments since, leaving people in 12 villages no other option but to drink untreated water from nearby streams.
The filtration plant, built under the Nillow Mohammadpora Water Supply Scheme (NMWSS) at the cost of Rs 16 lakh, was inaugurated by former minister Mustafa Kamal during the rule of National Conference before the militancy erupted in 1990.
The army built a camp in the filtration plant in 1990. They left in the year 2000. After they left, the machinery, by now useless and rusted, was either stolen or taken away by PHE officials, local residents said.
Three governments have since taken over but the filtration plant was not restored, depriving more than 3745 households in Odura, Nillow, Begam, Tengbal, Mohipora, Wokay, Hadigam, Chancer, Souch, Batpora, Batsargam, and Mohammadpora villages treated drinking water.
“No government paid any attention to restart it though it is mentioned in the scheme,” said Gulzar Ahmad Padder, an employee at Public Health Engineering division Kulgam.
Ghulam Mohammad Rather, a resident of Pariwan, said the department took no pains to restore the plant after army vacated it.
Tasleema, a housewife said, “If you see our washrooms you will find them teeming with earthworms and other water insects. I often take a fright entering bathroom.”
“This is why I get water for cooking purposes from a hand pump nearby,” she said.
A top officer in the district administration said on condition of anonymity that lack of funds prevents them from reviving many such defunct filtration plants. He said the government has restored a filtration plant at Tuli Nowpora that had been non-functional for the past 35 years.
Executive engineer PHE division Kulgam Mohammad Khalil Najar told Kashmir Reader that a new water treatment project, Tengwen Tengpora Scheme, has been started to provide treated water to inhabitants of some of the areas fed by the Pariwan plant. The work on the scheme will be completed in March, he said.