Bandipora villagers protest against water shortage

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Representational ImageFile/ GK

Bandipora: The Sumlar villagers in north Kashmir's Bandipora district Wednesday came out in protest and blocked the road for facing acute potable water shortage.

The locals said that they had been betrayed by the promises of continuous water supply despite having a freshwater stream passing nearby and the potable water supply was nearly negligible.

“It has been four days since our taps are running dry. Forget us even our animals are struggling to have water,” Muhammad Ramzan, a villager said.

He said that the department would always get taxes from them on time but the department had made their lives miserable.

“Even if sometimes the department would release water to us that is not good for consumption,” he said.

A woman protester, Sara Begum said, “No employee of the department pays heed or visits us to redress our grievances. The water pipes are dirty and on various occasions snakes, earthworms, and rats have been found in them."

Sara said the women have to struggle and fetch water from Arin Nallah by walking at least 2 km.

The locals said though there was a water supply in the village, it was not serving any purpose and the water was also unfiltered due to the absence of the filtration plant in the area.

Another woman protester said that the demands were not being met and the field officials were expressing helplessness and stating that extra pipes were required for continuous water supply.

“The officers at the helm of affairs have chosen to remain silent rather than address the issue,” she alleged.

Meanwhile, Pehlipora villagers in Hakbara of the Sumbal subdivision also came out in protest claiming that they had been deprived of clean drinking water for more than two months.

They alleged that the JJM employees and officials in the administration were also not paying heed to their repeated requests and they were being forced to consume dirty water.

They requested the administration to redress their grievance so that they too get clean drinking water.

Executive Engineer of the Jal Jeevan Mission of erstwhile PHE Department Bandipora, Javid Iqbal told Greater Kashmir that due to rains there was damage and that men were on job to restore it by today evening.

He said that other components like the filtration plant were in tendering process under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and as the works were allocated to contractors and construction would begin in seven days.

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