News Kashmir Bureau
Clean, safe drinking water is becoming scarce in the once water rich valley of Kashmir. The water woes are getting more aggravated in this holy month of Ramadan. People throughout the length and breadth of the Kashmir valley are complaining about the scarcity of potable water and many areas are witnessing protests as a result.
Pertinently, Downtown areas of Srinagar city are specially hit by this water scarcity and even once water sufficient areas are getting low volumes of water. The other areas like Batmaloo,Iddgah, Rawalpora have also been facing dire problems with reference to drinking water. In many areas of Kashmir the water supply schemes are taking much time to mature.
Even the rural areas like Pattan, Tral, Tangmarg etc are hit by this acute water scarcity.
In worrying statistics, more than 40 per cent of the rural areas in Jammu and Kashmir do not have access to proper drinking water facilities but the state government has guaranteed that all such habitations will be covered by 2020.
Pertinently, state has 15,798 rural habitations, out of which 8,535 habitations (54 per cent) are fully covered and are being provided drinking water at 40-55 litres per consumer daily, Minister of State for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Farooq Ahmad Andrabi said at the Legislative Council recently .
As a matter of fact, the water crisis has reached the Assembly as recently PDP MLA from Sonawar, Muhammad Ahsraf Mir, said that people in his constituency are “crying” for drinking water.
“People in my constituency are facing immense problems because of water scarcity. They have been continuously complaining about it, but the government is not addressing the issue,” Mir said.
Mir said that the officials in PHE are giving wrong information to the government and especially to the minister concerned about availability of water and water supply schemes.
“Strict action should be taken against these officers for misleading the minister and the government,” he said, adding, “The information provided about water supply schemes and pipeline is totally baseless. The officers have said that Rs. 10 lakh have been spent for pipes, but only less than Rs. 1 lakh has been spent so far,” he said.While replying to the legislator, Minister for Rural Development Abdul Haq Khan assured that action will be taken against the “erring” officials.
Representatives from several other constituencies have raised the issue of scarce water in their areas.
Abdul Ahad, a commoner while talking to News Kashmir states- “ We the people from Downtown are facing thirsty Ramadan on account of lack of water supply which is giving rise to multiple problems as we all know that water is life. The concerned authorities should wake up and ensure quality and uninterrupted water supply to us.”
Undoubtedly, people throughout the valley are facing acute shortage of water which is making life more difficult especially in the fasting month of Ramadan.