Kulgam: The unfiltered and contaminated water supply to more than half a dozen villages in Kulgam district is posing a grave risk to the health of the residents, the people bewail.
Interestingly, the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department, despite the persistent requests of the people, has come up with only a superficial remedy.
According to the reports the Zradibal water supply facility caters to Ashmuji, Bhan, Motalhom, Mohanpora, Zradipora and many other villages.
The locals say that the facility (two water storage tanks) were constructed many years ago, which distributed the water of a spring to these villages.
“The water tanks are now broken and the spring, if ever there has been one, has turned into a gutter,” Mubarak Ahmad, a resident of Ashmuji told Kashmir Reader.
People say that they have been drinking the same water for many years now and there are days when the water is plain muddy and undrinkable.
“We have been living with infections and frequent ailments,” said Nazir Ahmad, a shopkeeper from Bhan area.
He said the PHE has been consistently made aware of the situation of the supply facility and how contaminated the water supply has become. However, the department never paid heed to the people’s pleas.
“There are some days when the water tanks are completely dry. We have to go without any water supply for days at a stretch,” residents said adding they were forced to drink water from stagnant uncovered sources in the village on such days.
The people blame PHE for not conveying their concerns properly to the higher authorities.
“We need a filtration mechanism here. The PHE has been focusing on restoration of old water tanks. The restoration of old tanks can address the water shortage issue but the contamination problem will not be addressed,” the locals said.
Executive Engineer of the PHE department Kulgam, Mohammad Khalil Najar, said the water is not required to be filtered.
“We do not filter water when the source is a spring,” Najar said.
Asked the water being contaminated and supplied as such to people Najar said the water was not contaminated but there was some weed and algae floating in it, “that does not contaminate the water.”
He however acknowledged that the water tanks were broken and said that tenders have been floated for their restoration.