‘Pipes meant for project rusting on roadsides’
Anantnag: In 2011 when the government sanctioned and started work on a water supply scheme for Brakpora village in Anantnag the residents had turned jubilant hoping it will bring end to the acute water shortage the area was facing for decades.
However, six years on the villagers have grown weary of the sight of unistalled pipes rusting on the roadsides.
Sanctioned under the GOI sponsored Rural Drinking Water Program (RDWP), the work on the project started in early 2011 with an estimated project cost of Rs 5 crore.
“The PHE officials constructed a huge reservoir on the bank of Brengi Nalla near Timberpora in the first year but the project did not move beyond that,” a delegation of residents of Brakpora told Kashmir Reader.
The contractor, they said, brought water pipes meant for the scheme but never installed them.
“You can see the pipes scattered all along from Timberpora to Brakpora. One wonders why they have abandoned the scheme midway,” they said.
Ghulam Hassan, a member of the local Auqaf in Brakpora, said that the pipes lying along the 7km stretch have gathered rust.
Another Auqaf member Muhammad Yaqoof said some of the pipes fixed along a small stretch were washed away during 2014 floods but never repaired or fixed again.
Though the scheme remains far from completion, residents said, that they have come to know through some official sources that the contractor has managed to get the payment released in his favor, in nexus with some officials.
“We wonder over the wisdom of officials to sanction the scheme and then abandon the same. If they had no funds available for the scheme they should not have started the work at all so that the money wasted on it so far could have been saved,” said another Auqaf member Mateen Ahmed.
They said that their repeated representations to the officials concerned to complete the project have failed to yield any results.
“The officials are not clearly telling us about their plans with regard to the project. Now we appeal the vigilance organisation to investigate if the scheme was really sanctioned for the public good or for money minting by the officials,” the residents told Kashmir Reader.
Executive engineer, PHE division Bijbehara, Bashir Ahmed Shah blamed the paucity of funds for the abandoned work on the scheme.
“The scheme was actually a central sponsored project. At the time of its inception in 2011 the center was providing seventy percent funds for such schemes. Later they curtailed the funds by almost 40-50 percent with the result the scheme could not be completed,” Shah told Kashmir Reader.
He said that they have now formulated a plan and categorised such schemes for their completion in a phased manner.
“In first phase we will complete those schemes which are nearing completion and in second phase the schemes which are 75 complete will be taken up. Similarly those schemes with only 50 percent completion will be completed in third phase,” Shah said.