Over 200 hundred odd households of village Shiva and Hamir Pura of Shiva panchayat of Doda are on verge of mass migration due to worsening water crisis in the area.
The village nestled on a hill top has been coping with shortage of potable water since decades, but due to continuous dry spell and heat wave and drying up of natural resources, the situation has further aggravated.
The situation which worsened during last two months have left the villagers with no other option but to sell their cattle to save their lives and migrate from the area.
Located on a barren hill about 21 km to north west of district headquarter Doda town, Shiva and Hamir Pur villages of Shiva panchayat, consists of over 200 households- maximum of them dependent on agricultural and cattle raring.
The villagers alleged despite numerous representations to civil authorities and political representatives, every time they only get false promises and proposal of water supply schemes which till date have only remained on papers.
"We have been facing water crisis for last several decades, it's a famous saying in district Doda that people of Shiva village provide water to their cattle, only once in three days. We have been running from pillar to post to get this problem solved but all over requests seem to fell to the deaf ears of authorities," said ex-Sarpanch Shiva, Gulsher Khan. While villagers regularly pay for piped water supply, the PHE authorities disconnected all the connection in the village, and now people are dependent on two public stands which get supply for 10 minutes on alternate days. This problem is snowballing into a serious human crisis," Khan added.
Due to the water shortage, villagers even miss the daily prayers in mosques and temples, he added.
"Implementation of 'Swacch Bharat Abhiyan' in our area is a cruel joke. We don't get enough water even for our cattle and miss daily prayers due to shortage of water. Under these circumstances how can one even think of cleanliness," said a villager Lekh Raj.
"To wash our clothes and to have a bath we are forced to trek 6 km downhill to Neeru Nullah flowing into Chenab at Pul Doda. To survive under these inhuman conditions is very difficult, but we have no other option but to carry on," Lekh Raj added.
Scarcity of water and only 10 minutes of supply that too on alternate days has started posing law and order problem as well. According to locals, women-folk quarrelling for their turn at public stands has become a common scene these days in otherwise quiet and calm village.
"We have barred our women to fetch water from public stands, as they clash for their turn every now and then. Water crisis has started affecting the psyche of our women, which is a dangerous sign not for family only but for whole society," said another villager Showket Ali.
When contacted Executive Engineer Public Health Engineering (PHE) Doda, Abdul Wahid Zargar said, "For immediate relief, from tomorrow, I will start sending a water tanker there. For Permanent solution, I will depute, Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) Doda and Junior Engineer (JE) to the village tomorrow to submit a report at the earliest about the estimate and requirements if any, so that we can provide them potable water regularly."