Bandipora, Mar 14: A decades-old irrigation canal that previously carried water from the Jehlum River to irrigate hundreds of kanals of agricultural land has got obstructed and is now producing a foul smell.
The residents of Naidkhai claimed that despite their best efforts, “some selfish individuals are using the canal to dump domestic waste and so many household solid waste outlets discharge their refuse directly into it.” The canal, according to the locals, originates in Markundal village and passes through other habitations in the division to irrigate agricultural land.
“We have been using the canal to irrigate our lands,” said an elderly man Ghulam Mohammad Lone from Umer Colony in Naidkhai. The water used to be so fresh and was used for cooking and “even for doing ablutions, but that is no longer the case,” he continued.
The canal has been clogged by junk and filth, and since locals use it to dispose of domestic waste, the canal has become a stinky swamp. “The condition from over a month has turned terrible.”
“It is hard to sit at home with windows open, such is the condition of the canal. We are also equally responsible for allowing it to turn from bad to worse as civic sense hasn’t prevailed among the majority of us,” another local Abdul Salaam said and urged authorities to either run irrigation pumps to flush the filth or make separate efforts to clean it.
Mechanical division Irrigation and Flood Control Sumbal, AEE Asif Ahamd, said that he has taken note of the complaints “although it is not his domain to clean the water source.” He said evidence and “other reports will be collected to locate the culprit who has dumped hazardous waste in the canal during the night, and accordingly, the canal will be flushed out of waste by using pumps.”