INTERNATIONAL WATER DAY | Kashmir undergoing severe water crisis: Experts

SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, Publish Date: Mar 22 2018 11:40PM | Updated Date: Mar 22 2018 11:40PM
INTERNATIONAL WATER DAY | Kashmir undergoing severe water crisis: ExpertsPhoto: Mubashir Khan/GK

Stressing for water conservation, authorities and experts on Thursday said Kashmir was undergoing severe water crisis. 

During winter, an unprecedented water crisis unfolded in Kashmir as a lengthy dry spell led to a record low water level in the Jhelum. 

The Jhelum, which originates in Anantnag and runs through Srinagar and various northern areas, covering around 200 kms before entering into Pak, is a major source of drinking water and irrigation.

According to experts the scanty rains and receding glaciers have brought Kashmir on the brink of water crisis.

“In Kupwara, Budgam and Bandipora districts there are dozens of villages without drinking water supply,” experts said. 

“There is some improvement due to the rains and snow,” chief engineer, Public Health Engineering, Abdul Wahid told Greater Kashmir. 

However, he hastened to add that “50 per cent crisis is still there and we are hopeful that melting snow will help the situation.”

He said last year some bore and tube wells were drilled to meet the requirement. “This year more bore and tube wells will come up in various areas of the Valley particularly in the upper belts to meet the requirement,” he said and appealed the people to conserve water.

Officials said more than 40 percent capacity of 14 water supply schemes in southern Kashmir division has been affected by receding water levels.

Another reason for the present water crisis, officials said, was the long delay in completion of government of India-funded water schemes. 

Under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP), the previous UPA-led Congress government had approved more than 2511 schemes— 934 schemes for Kashmir and 1566 for Jammu— to ensure regular supply of drinking water to people.

But till date only 232 schemes have been completed, officials said.

The union government, officials said, “has cut down the funding under the program and directed the state government to first complete the already taken up schemes before further money can be released. 

“This has led to the delay in completion of the program,” said another official.

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