Kupwara does not have a single public drinking water point, and the local municipal committee has not been able to find a place for setting up one for the bustling border town.
Residents, shoppers and people who do business or work in the town say they have to buy water bottles from the market or beg hoteliers or at kiosks for a glass of water.
“The lack of drinking water facilities in the town is creating problems for the people, especially those coming from far flung areas of this district, who have to buy water bottles to quench their thirst,” said Rashid Ahmad of Kralpora.
“The authorities have spent 17 lakh rupees for the construction of a fountain at the Regipora chowk which is only used at the time of VIP movement. They could have also spent two lakhs for a water point for the relief of poor people.”
People from more than 200 villages visit Kupwara town daily for business, medical care, shopping, official duty and wage work.
“No one from the district administration asks MCK (Municipal Committee Kupwara) authorities that why it is taking decades to locate a site for a drinking water point for common people,” Ahmad said.
“We approached the MCK authorities many times. They told us that it is because of the lack of funds,” said Showket Masoodi who heads a local civil society group.
“Authorities in the administration should look into the matter because it is for the welfare of common people.”
The Executive Officer of MCK, Farooq Ahmad said there was a dearth of free space in the border town.
“I assure you that soon the construction will be started to provide drinking water facility to the people,” he said.
Deputy Development Commissioner for the district, Anshul Garg put the ball in MCK’s court.
“Still I will ask the Chairman MCK to construct them (public water points) as soon as possible,” Garg said.