Residents of Kudara village in this north Kashmir district are suffering immensely owing to lack of basic amenities like potable water and electricity supply.
Locals told Greater Kashmir that they are facing immense hardships in this chilly winter due to lack of basic facilities like potable drinking water and electricity supply.
The village with around 400 households is situated at a distance of 15 kms in the forest area from district headquarters.
"What could be worse than living without potable drinking water and electricity supply even in the 21st century that too in this chilly winter? I have never seen electricity in my lifetime in the village. We are living without potable drinking water despite reservoir being constructed 15 years ago. It has failed to serve any purpose. As it failed to supply water to the village," said Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat, a local resident.
He said that several years ago PHE department laid pipes in the open which have either been damaged or have been stolen as officials from the department never turned up to see the status of the water supply scheme in the village. "Our women folk have to walk 4-5 KMs on foot in 2-3 feet snow to fetch water from a nearby stream. Sometimes we boil snow in the utensils and use it for drinking and other purposes as there is no provision of potable water in the village," the villagers rued.
Pertinently, documents available with Greater Kashmir reveal that PHE Division Bandipora in its last year progress report has shown that a Water Supply Scheme (WSS) under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) has been completed at upper Kudara at the cost of 72.47 lakhs, but on ground the scheme has failed to serve any purpose.
Locals said the department last year did some repairs in the reservoir, which has been constructed some 15 years ago. "They (officials) have drawn a huge amount of funds at the pretext of repairing the reservoir. Even after repairing the reservoir we are yet to see a drop of potable water," locals alleged.
The villagers demanded that a commission should be set up to look into the wrongdoings in the water supply scheme at Kudara village by the PHE department.
They alleged that their local legislator has reneged on his promise as during elections. "He (local MLA) made lofty promises to help us and mitigate our sufferings. After winning elections, he never turned up to show his face. We also approached the concerned authorities to help resolve our sufferings but our pleas have gone unheard," the locals said.
They said that the village is still under 2-3 feet snow, thereby compounding their miseries.
"There is no trace of electricity in the village as the PDD has not even erected electricity poles to supply electricity to the village. We are being treated as third-class citizens as there is nobody to listen to our woes," rued the villagers.
Meanwhile, the Additional Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Khursheed Ahmad Sanai acknowledged that the Kudara village faces shortage of potable drinking water and electricity supply. "We will try to solve their issues," he added.