Drinking water woes in Baramulla villages

Drinking water woes in Baramulla villages
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Filtration plant left incomplete despite spending huge amounts

Baramulla: Residents of three villages in norrh Kashmir’s Baramulla district–Drangbal, Jalsheeri and Narathal—are waiting for safe drinking water for a period of eight years. The public health engineering (PHE) department constructed a lift and filtration plant at the banks of river Jhelum but it has never been operationalised to provide filtered water to the population.
Locals said the station lifts water directly from the river and circulates it to the population without any treatment. The reason is the filtration plant has not been fully operationalised.
“The department spent a lot of money on the construction of filtration plant but left the work midway. A few sumps were constructed but the work was not completed fully,” Habibullah a local resident said.
The unfiltered water supply has become cause for spread of water-borne diseases in the area.
He said out of six pumps installed in the station, only three are working. The department is not interested in making them functional.
Gulam Nabi, another resident said that the people are constrained to use water from other contaminated sources and even directly from the river.
An official of the PHE department said that the government did not fund the project fully according to the detailed project report. “The project cost was Rs 3 crore and 53 lacs but the government released only Rs 2 crore and 60 lacs for the plant, he said adding the residual work on the filtration plant would be carried out only after the release of outstanding money.
“This is not the single incomplete plant in the district. There are so many incomplete filtration plants and lift stations which are incomplete only because of non-availability of funds”, he said.



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