Projects languishing, Shopian’s water supply woes unending

Projects languishing, Shopian’s water supply woes unending

SHOPIAN: Once known for pristine water sources, the hilly district Shopian is facing water supply problems, as water contamination has become a nuisance for its residents.
A minor shower results in contaminated water supply for weeks. Many people attribute the problem to the construction of Mughal Road, which runs along Rambiara rivulet – the major source of water in the district.
A top official in district administration admitted that the district has “worst water supply” as it contains mud and sand throughout the year.
“Today I went to bathroom but returned as I saw some tar like substances coming out of tap,” he said, adding that only sympathetic steps from government can end water supply woes in the district.
Officials from Public Health Engineering (PHE) department, on the other hand, said that the district needs more than Rs 200 crore for smooth and clean water supply to people.
“We have only 400 employees against the need of 1000 and the dearth of staff often leads to long breakdown of services,” an official from the PHE department said.
Locals furious at the government for not providing clean water supply said that governments claim many schemes in speeches and statements but do nothing on ground.
“There is need of funds to complete the schemes and around a decade ago we were told that government has started a multi-crore project at Dobijan to provide pure water to the people but nothing has been constructed there,” Farooq Ahmad, a resident of Shopian town said.
A student from Shopian college said that contaminated water supply has often resulted in breakout of diseases.
“Last year we saw an epidemic of hepatitis which affected over 1000 people but those holding big offices, like Governor watch the whole scenario as mute spectators,” he said.
According to official data about 33 water supply schemes are languishing in the district for want of funds.
Locals said clothes washed under tap water appear to have been immersed in a dirty drain.
“The people who have access to springs and wells get water from there using load carriers and tankers but the majority is suffering as they use contaminated water for drinking cooking and other purposes,” a PHE employee said.
Executive Engineer, Public Health Engineering Shopian, Muhammad Aslam Zargar told Kashmir Reader that his department has sent a proposal to government about sanction of funds for a water supply reservoir at Dobijan with estimated cost of Rs 35 crore, but the government has not given its nod yet.
“We have also sent a water scarcity plan to government under which Rs 195 crores are proposed to be spent on the development of schemes at panchayat levels,” he said, adding that adequate steps from government would only help to end the drinking water problems prevailing in the district.
Advisor to Governor Kewal Kumar Sharma couldn’t be reached on his phone for comments.