Anantnag: Many areas in Anantnag district of south Kashmir are facing water crisis following a dry summer which has led to visible depletion of water level in several resources.
What is leading to worsening of the crisis, officials say, is non-judicious use of water by the people including car washes, irrigating ‘orchards and kitchen gardens’ and other avoidable practices.
The affected areas include Pushwara, Khandipahari, Harnag and several other places in and around main town Anantnag.
Besides, the rural areas including dozens of villages in Kokernag belt (Ahlan Gadol, Larnoo, Nowgam, Shangus) have also been affected by scarcity of potable drinking water.
The residents of these areas told Kashmir Reader that they have been facing acute shortage of water for more than a month now.
“We have to get water from the sources, around our village, which is not fit for human consumption but we do not have any alternative,” a resident of Gadol village told Kashmir Reader.
The officials at the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department acknowledge that the water sources have been depleted, in wake of a dry summer.
“At this point in time the gauge reading of Jhelum at Sangam should have been somewhere around 7 to 8 ft but its only 2.85 ft,” a senior official told Kashmir Reader.
He said that same was the case with another major water source, Lidder River.
“The gauge reading on Lidder is 0.54 ft which should have been at least 0.8 ft at this time of the year,” the official said.
Superintendent Engineer (SE) of the Hydraulics wing in PHE, Shahnawaz Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that the department was taking a string of measures to ensure people did not suffer.
“Apart from providing ‘water on wheels’ we have formed a task force to check non-judicious usage of water, which remains a major concern at this time of water crisis,” the SE said.
He said that the task force will keep a tab on non-judicious use of water.
“People tend to waste a lot of water by washing cars and watering their gardens and kitchen gardens. No matter how small their gardens are the watering process puts an avoidable pressure on water sources,” he said.