A village in this southern Kashmir district is without water supply for the past three years.
With around 200 households, Sanzwatroo village is just four km from the main town. But, according to locals, the village is without water supply for the past three years.
“We are being deprived of the basic necessity at a time when people in other parts of the world enjoy all modern facilities. Hundreds of residents are made to suffer on daily basis,” said a resident, Javed Ahmad Bhat.
He said despite repeated pleas by the villagers, the PHE department has failed to address their problem.
“Are not we humans? Don’t we deserve to get the basic facility such as water,” Bhat said.
Another resident said women from the villagers are being forced to walk on foot for miles on daily basis to fetch water from neighboring villages.
He said the department dispatches a water tanker on alternate days for supplying water to the village.
“How will a single water tanker suffice the needs of the entire village? We don’t get sufficient water for drinking purpose, leave aside other works including water for daily household requirements and bathing,” said the resident.
He said each time the water tanker arrives in the village women and children are made to wait in queues for long hours to fetch water in buckets and utensils.
“We are supposed to use this water for two days to meet our all needs,”
said another resident.
A group of villagers complained that the supply line connecting to the village was disconnected in neighboring Mandina village “many years ago.”
“Since then, the line has not been restored and as such we continue to suffer,” said an elderly villager.
Sanzwatroo is barely at 20 metres distance from Mandina, said the villager. All the villages in the area are having round-the-clock water supply, but we are made to suffer. At times we don’t have enough water for cooking and drinking purpose.”
The villagers said owing to scarcity of the water they were being forced to use contaminated water from a stream, which often results in health problems among people especially children.
The villager said each time they approach the authorities from the PHE with their problem, they assure to address the problem.
“But except assurances we haven’t got anything so far. In fact with each passing day our problems have compounded,” said the villager.
He said over the past three years the population has also grown and new residential houses have come up in the village. “It seems we have been forgotten by the government,” said the villager.
Assistant executive engineer, Muhammad Rafiq acknowledged that the village was “without drinking water supply line.”
“We tried to connect the village with Mandina supply line but they (residents of Mandina) aren’t allowing us and are creating law and order problem,” said Rafiq, adding the village was being supplied water through a tanker on alternate days.
He said the department has farmed a new scheme at the cost of Rs 26 lakh to provide water supply to the village.
“But the work (on the scheme) is yet to be started,” he said.