RTI reveals not a single penny spent to upgrade water supply infrastructure in three years
Budgam: Notwithstanding the tall claims of the government regarding argumentation of water supply infrastructure in the state, not a single penny has been spent by PHE department in Kawoosa village of Budgam. This was revealed in a reply filed for an RTI application. The RTI reply reveals that since last three years not a single penny has been spent on the development of infrastructure of water supply scheme in the village.
”No pipe material has been issued to the village and no expenditure has been incurred on it from 2015-18,” the document read.
The document further reads as “no funds have been allotted to the said village for providing a water supply or developing the infrastructure of the water supply schemes from 2015-18”.
Pertinently, the village falls under the water supply scheme (WSS) Magam Narbal with having 0.5MGD rapid sand filtration plant and 0.6MGD slow sand filtration plant at village Batpora with Ferozpora nallah as a source.
“The village more ever is supplied portable water 0.60lac gallons capacity OHT at Mazhama being lifted from 0.30lac gallons capacity clear water collection pump at Mazhama,” documents read.
“However, the scarcity of potable water has reached to an alarming level and locals are left with no option rather than to consume contaminated water,” locals alleged.
Official sources told Kashmir Reader that water supplied to the village is insufficient and contaminated. “The officials have been showing indifferent attitude to our problem. No steps have been taken to ensure pure drinking water facility to the villagers,” Dawood Khan a local said, he e added that several solutions have been proposed in the past by the experts and conveyed to the government officials, but nothing concrete was done for the welfare of villagers.
“However, it is not just health problems for the problems. But lack of access to water for both domestic and drinking purposes has proved to be an additional economic burden on the earnings of low-income households. Everyone cannot afford to dig a well in their house premises,” he said. Another prominent citizen of village Ali Mohammad Dar said that households are being forced to spend thousands of rupees and get the water to their homes.
“On an average, every household has to spend 50,000 rupees to connect the pipelines with the river flowing along the side of the village,” he said. The villagers also said that water supply pipes have been installed during the ’60s and ’70s, and have almost turned defunct.
“The officials had promised to construct a filtration plant in the village but decades have passed over and nothing has been done so far,” locals rued. An official on basis of anonymity said that the reason behind the water woes in the village is insufficient funds. “Whenever any work plan is being conceived in the village, there is a shortage of funds, obviously we cannot execute the work without funds,” he said.
He added that work on almost twenty such schemes meant to upgrade the water supply infrastructure has been left mid-way due to lack of funds.
Executive Engineer Public Health Engineering (PHE) Budgam, Ghulam Ahmad Beigh did not respond to repeated call and text messages from this reporter.