Shopian: Two Shopian villages have had no drinking water for the past five months. The area’s water scarcity is forcing people to consume contaminated water from polluted canals or faraway tube wells.
Residents of Chitragam and Wadipora are up in arms against the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department, which has failed to provide drinking water to both villages, resulting in immense problems for the inhabitants.
Villagers from Chitragam told Kashmir Reader that around 500 households have had no water supply in months. “We have pleaded before the authorities several times to sanction a separate water supply for the village, but nobody either in government or from the PHE department has listened to our woes,” said Muntazir Ahmad, a local resident, adding that the drinking water problem in the village in not new as they have been facing it for years.
Villagers added that many people in the village have access to tube wells, but those who don’t have such were forced to use contaminated water from canals for drinking, cooking and sanitation purposes. This, according to the villagers, has left many people ill.
Similarly, another village in the area, Wadipora, is facing the same problems with its drinking water. Villagers said that the PHE department left pipelines in Wadipora incomplete for want of three pipes five months ago. “They laid a new pipeline but left that incomplete as there was need for only three pipes,” says a local, adding that five months have passed since then but the department has still not completed the line.
Local resident Farooq Ahmad said that the villagers brought the issue to the notice of the Sub-district Magistrate, Zainapora, but despite that the pipelines are still incomplete.
Executive Engineer PHE, Shopian, Nisar Ahmad Shah told Kashmir Reader that he will look into the problems of both villages. “Residents of Wadipora should have brought this issue to my notice and we should have provided them pipes,” he said, adding that he is aware of the Chitragam issue. “I will seek a report from the assistant executive engineer concerned and will see for a permanent solution of the water crisis there,” he said.