A senior official of revenue department and a woman were among several people injured in clashes over a water supply scheme in central Kashmir's Budgam district on Tuesday.
Fearing that the water supply scheme might dry up already running projects and thus deprive them of drinking water, the residents of several villages of Chadoora area staged protests at Sogam village today.
The protesters alleged that police and paramilitary forces fired teargas shells and used lathicharge to disperse them when they staged a demonstration against the scheme near 'Marble Place' in the village.
Several protesters, including a woman, was injured after police used force on the protesters, they alleged.
"Firdousa Jan, a resident of Sogam, was injured after a shell hit her foot," alleged Hilal Ahmad, a protester.
He said that Jan is being treated at Sub-District hospital Chadoora with three boys who fainted during tear-gas shelling.
Police, however, denied that any woman was hit by a shell.
Station House Officer (SHO) Chadoora Abdul Rouf Bazaz alleged that Naib Tehsildar of Lolipora was attacked by the protesters near Sogam.
"He was beaten up to pulp by the angry protesters," Bazaz alleged. Rouf said. "We don't have anything to do with the project and we were just dealing with law-and-order situation."
The residents fear that nine water supply schemes feeding around fifty villages of twin constituencies of Char-e-Sharief and Chadoora will be affected due to the ERA project.
Director ERA Malik Basharat Ahmad told Greater Kashmir that locals would get drinking water on priority from the scheme – scheduled to be completed by December 2016.
"After fifty year of analysis, Public Health Eengineering (PHE) department identified and department of irrigation furnished a no-objection certificate (NOC) to this project being funded by Asian Development Fund costing Rs 43 crores. All the local population will be provided drinking water from the scheme first," said Malik.
When asked why they don't source the water at Hanjigund place as proposed by locals, Malik said that the place was not found feasible by a survey conducted by the PHE.
"We will be taking only surplus water from the river Doodh Ganga and separate arrangements of water for irrigation purpose will be made during peak farming season," Malik assured.