Shopian: Rambiara, the lifeline of a large portion of south Kashmir’s Shopian and Pulwama districts, is fast becoming detrimental for human life as pollution levels are increasing in its water s with each passing day. The convergence of hundreds of non-locals labourers and nomads has emerged as the primary source of devastating pollution. The water is so much contaminated that it remains no longer fit for drinking. The non-locals have erected hundreds of makeshift tents on the rivulet’s banks, at some places even within the river’s coarse. They freely defecate in open and throw rubbish and waste into the stream.
At several places in Batpora area, these nomads have raised concrete structures upon the rivulet’s premises. Interestingly, the illegal constructions have come up under the nose of the Municipal Committee of Shopian. “There is a sign board declaring the area to be under its control and warning people not to indulge in violations, but beneath the signboard there are as many as 40 non-local families living in tents with a number of latrines around them,” Abdul Basit, a local resident said.
A large number of nomads can be seen in Batapora, Shirmal, Nadigund, Lassipora and other places living in such tents. “I brought this issue several times to the notice of the District Commissioner and the municipal authorities, but unfortunately no action was taken against these nomads or the local people who have diverted their bathroom drains into the rivulet,” said Aabid Saki, a social worker who runs an NGO in the district.
Worse, locals from the main town and villages situated on the banks of the river also throw building debris and household garbage into the rivulet, which had worsened the pollution level of the water.
Tariq Ahmad Mir from Alyalpora village told Kashmir Reader that this rivulet was once considered the purest source of water. “Rambiara supplies drinking and irrigation water to a hundred villages in Shopian and Pulwama and contributes a major source of water to the river Jehlum, but throwing wastage and rubbish into it has made it the dirtiest source of water,” he said, adding that those involved in this crime should be dealt with strictly by the law-enforcing authorities.
Another resident from the area said that as soon as the Rambiara water reaches the main town habitation areas, it gets highly polluted.
The water-polluting cases were not only related to the Rambiara rivulet but also to its tributaries. “The water of Sangloo was considered the purest in the area, but encroachments and consignment of rubbish and solid waste by the inhabitants has contaminated its water to such a level that even animals get sick after drinking its water,” Farooq Ahmad Mir from Pinjora area said.
Doctors from Shopian hospital and the executive engineer, Public Health Engineering, have issued advisory to the people against drinking the polluted water of Rambiara and other canals. “This water is not safe for drinking even after boiling,” doctors said.
Executive officer, Municipal Committee, Shopian, Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar told Kashmir Reader that he will depute a team to verify the issues. “We will throw these nomads out from the rivulet area. Action will be taken against those who were hell-bent on polluting the water resources,” he said.