HAJIN: A water filtration plant in Hajin town in Bandipora district is awaiting completion for the last 15 years, while the residents are forced to use unfiltered contaminated water.
The foundation stone of the filtration plant was laid by infamous Ikhwan commander and then MLA Sonawari Mohammad Yousuf Parray alias Kuka Parray in 2002.
“It is sheer official negligence that the water project is still incomplete,” Abdul Karim Lone, a local resident said.
“We are using impure water for drinking and cooking purposes due to which the local populace is suffering from many ailments; people including women and children are suffering from many water borne diseases.”
He said that doctors have advised people not to use tap water directly, as they are often infected by waterborne diseases including jaundice, hepatitis-b.
Another resident Jawhar Parray recalled that he was 13 when the construction of the filtration plant started.
“Now I am in university and the project is still incomplete. It is all due to politics of local pro-India politicians that our area is facing discrimination,” Jawhar said.
He alleged that the area has been ignored by the successive rulers.
In rainy days, the residents said, they have to consume muddy water.
“Although we were assured by the PHE officials that we will be provided water tanks but till date we did not see any water tank which can provide us clean water during rain,” another resident said.
A senior member of Hajin civil society, Sargar Sarafraz, said they are “fed up” of approaching the officials and ministers as “there has been no positive response” fropm them so far.
If completed, the residents said, that filtration plant would benefit at least 40000 people living in and around Hajin town.
Son of former MLA Kuka Parray and presently a Congress member, Imtiyaz Parray told Kashmir Reader the project remained incomplete after his father lost elections in 2002.
“I don’t know the reasons why this project is being kept hanging for too much time now. The area has been totally neglected by the rulers including that from PDP and NC. The area did not see any development since Aba Jan (Kuka Parray ) lost the elections,” Parray said.
MLA Sonawari Mohammad Akbar Lone blamed the “ineptness of PHE department” for the pending project.
“They have to give money to contractor and the filtration plant will be operational,” Lone said, adding that he would take up the issue in upcoming assembly session.