SHOPIAN: More than a hundred villages in south Kashmir’s Shopian area are drinking untreated water directly supplied from canals and rivulets. The situation has left most of the villages at the brink of outbreak of epidemic as the summer season approaches and the water begins to get murkier. Only a few villages have springs or bore-wells to cater to the drinking water requirements.
Locals said that despite tall claims by the authorities, there is no arrangement for supply of filtered water to the people. “We have been provided 24-hour water supply but the water is dirty, mixed with sand and mud. This water is not fit for drinking,” Muhammad Amin Wagay from Pinjora said.
Mohammad Younis Tak, a resident of Batpora Shopian told Kashmir Reader that they have apprehensions of breakout of diseases as the drinking water supply is too dirty and public health engineering department is in slumber.
“Most people in our area are suffering from chest related diseases because the water supply provided by department is mostly muddy and mixed with sand,” Shamim Ahmad Malik from Killora area said.
Tariq Ahmed Pir, a resident of Alyalpora said that the supplied water is so dirty that on occasions, domestic animals also refuse to drink it. The authorities are not taking the issues seriously. There are good water resources in the district but that is not being harnessed for the people,” Pir said.
The drinking water supply feeder near Killora village for 36 villages of Rampathri area is filled with sand and mud up to 11.5 feet. Authorities say due to the huge mixture of sand and mud with water these filters gets filled with sand and mud within three days and the department has no effective mechanism to clean them regularly.
Interestingly, the employees blamed construction of Mughal Road for such kind of water scarcity in the district. “The contractors of Mughal Road put all the soil, sand and other material on the banks of rivulet, when snow starts melting and due to heavy rain all the mud flows into the river and contaminates the water,” a group of PHE employees said.
Executive Engineer Public health engineering (PHE), Ghulam Ahmed Beig said there were 25 water supply schemes getting water supply from Rambiara Rivulet, which contains huge amount of dirty particles and our filters are not satisfactorily purifying the water.
Dr Syed Tufail, a general physician at district hospital Shopian admitted that contaminated water supply is one of the main causes of higher incidence of various water borne diseases in the area. “We are facing huge rush of patients suffering from diseases like Hepatitis, jaundice and typhoid,” he said adding people must drink boiled water or water mixed with chlorine tablets.
Beig said the issue of contaminated water supply is known to the chief minister. “We have brought this issue into the CM’s notice. There is not any modern type water filtration plant, which can provide filtered water to 103 villages in the district, he said.
He said the work is likely to be started soon at water filtration plant in Dobijan, which can provide pure water to about 103 villages in the district.
About 25 water supply schemes get water from Rambiara Rivulet, our filtration plants only have capacity to filter the large dirty particles, he said.