GoI stopped funds for all drinking water schemes, allege lawmakers 

Jammu: The opposition lawmakers on Tuesday censured the government for rendering water supply schemes of PHE, irrigation and flood control (I&FC) department defunct in the state.

The members also took on the government for its failure to maintain accountability in the department, particularly at the lower level.

Senior NC leader and MLA Kangan, Mian Altaf took a jibe at the government and said there was nothing to speak about as all the centrally sponsored schemes were rendered defunct for want of funds from the Union government.

“We had expectation that there will be some improvement but the department has no financial support as GoI has chocked flow of funds to the department,” he said.

Altaf alleged that corruption was deep rooted in PHE department and said junior engineers have made massive bungling of funds in the department and built their lavish houses and bungalows of the money that was otherwise sanctioned for public need.

“The junior engineers who are working on ground have misused water pipes and left habitations in border and hilly areas struggling for drinking water facilities,” he said, adding that there was a dire need to bring accountability in the department.

“Department should review the benefits of hand pump scheme which have been installed over the past years. Even if some were installed on recommendations of MLA but 70 percent of these pumps are defunct as they could not last for even six months,” he said and demanded a high level probe into the issue.

Mian Altaf said the tall claims of the government of India for providing door to door drinking water supply have fallen flat as it has chocked the funds to the state, leaving the schemes defunct.

“CM should ask Delhi why funds are not being released. You should also make an attempt to get the funds released,” he said. BJP MLA Rajiv Jasrotia and RS Pathaia also expressed concern over less flow of funds from GoI which has created hurdles in running the department.

“Despite stoppage of funds from GoI, the minister is running the department under difficult situation,” Pathania said.

MLA Khan Sahab, Hakim Muhammad Yasin told the House that the PHE pipes meant for providing drinking water supply to habitations and other filtration plant were lying defunct as government is starving for funds.

“There is also lot of corruption in your department which needs to be checked. Your JE is more powerful than executive or even a chief engineer as he has been given unnecessary authorities to poke his nose in every matter,” he said and asked the government to make previous schemes functional in the state.

Opposition MLA from Bandipora, Usman Majid said all the centrally schemes have been grounded in the state which according to him will prove detrimental in future.

“All the central schemes have been grounded in the state. Water table has reduced as our water resources have been failed by the government,” he said.

NC MLA from Ganderbal Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar urged the government to revamp dewatering stations in his constituency and make them functional.

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