Polluted stream cause jaundice, cholera and typhoid
SHOPIAN: People in Shopian district have demanded a curb on illegal constructions and discharge of polluting agents into Sangloo stream, a major source of drinking water for the residents of south Kashmir.
Medical experts in the area suggest that several viral and gastro diseases, besides prolonged symptoms of jaundice, cholera and typhoid, are caused by unsafe drinking water from the stream. Residents from Shopian town and adjoining villages have built hundreds of washrooms and toilets on the banks of stream. Villagers say that the toilets and bathrooms “heavily pollute” the water.
“The stream, which was known for the pure water, has been polluted and encroached. Senselessly, people dump litter and other dirty material in the stream,” Shamim Ahmad Malik, a resident of Killora village said.
Fayaz Ahmad Sheikh from Trapadpora village told Kashmir Reader that no one cared about their health. “We don’t have filtered tap water service to our area,” he said. “Where should we go and whom should we ask about the encroachments,” he fumed.
A group of senior citizens from Killora demanded that encroachments on the banks of Sangloo stream should be demolished and municipal committee Shopian should be given strict orders to curb pollution of water resources. “It is a lifeline for hundreds of villages of the district,” a village elderly said.
Bashir Ahmad Sheikh, a resident of Haripora, told Kashmir Reader that they don’t have a piped drinking water supply to their area and the villagers were forced to drink unfiltered water from the canal tjat gets water from Sangloo. “Many people in our village suffer from water borne diseases. We demand government’s intervention in this regard to stop the abuse of Sangloo,” Sheikh said.
Sangloo draws its waters from glaciers in Peer Panjaal range. As the stream moves into Shopian, village after village discharges untreated sewerage into stream. Solid waste generated from homes is disposed into the rivulet; polythene can be seen floating in its water.
“People are senseless, they don’t care about the life of others and government is a mute spectator. It has turned out to be a garbage dumping place, making the stream shrink enormously,” Manzoor Ahmad Malik, a resident of Shopian said.
Doctors from the Shopian hospital told Kashmir Reader that water of Sangloo is not safe to drink even after boiling. “It contains toxic substances that drinking can not neutralise,” said a doctor. “We suggest people to take water from any other water source or springs”.
Medical experts in the area believe that Sangloo waters cause viral and gastro diseases in these areas. Prolonged symptoms of jaundice, cholera and typhoid, experts say, are caused by unsafe drinking water from the stream, which ultimately turn out to be a reason for death of many patients.
According to Nazir Ahmad, medical superintendent of Shopian Hospital, diseases like jaundice, cholera, gastroenteritis and typhoid are now common in the areas fed by Sangloo.
Municipal Committee Shopian told Kashmir Reader that the committee will check the status about the encroachments and the garbage disposal in the stream. “I will soon depute a team to check the illegal constructions and garbage decomposition if thrown in the river,” Asad-ul-alah Kumar head assistant at Municipal Committee Shopian, said. However, Municipal Committee Shopian has no executive officer for five months.
Repeated attempts to reach the office of Executive Engineer (irrigation and flood control), Shopian, did not get a response.