Malshahi Bagh Canal Breach | 5 months on, Srinagar areas continues to reel under water shortage

There seems to be no end to water scarcity that hit thousands of households here more than five months ago, following breach in MalshahiBagh Canal which is the main source of drinking water to many Srinagar areas.

Officials had earlier said that the breach will be repaired by March end to end the water shortage.

Locals of the severely affected areas   particularly residing in tail end said the water shortage continues to grow with each passing day.

They said scarcity of drinking water supply has taken a heavy toll on them amid COVID19 pandemic.

“Half the year has already passed but there has been no respite in our problems. We are getting only a few hour water supply every day, contrary to what officials claim. There are many households which don’t get even few hour water supply and have to venture out to fetch the water,” said Muhammad Hanief, a resident of Shah Hamdan Colony, Soura.

The canal also supplies water to Rangel Water Plant which is the major source of drinking water for many downtown areas. The residents there said since December they were being provided inadequate water supply which has affected their daily lives. Many of the Srinagar areas are now relying on bore wells to get the water supply.

The canal breach has affected the water supply to over two lakh households in Srinagar, said an official.

The main areas that receive water supply from MalshahiBagh Canal include Hazratbal, Soura, Ilahibagh, Ahmed Nagar, Buchpora and adjoining areas. The breach in the canal occurred in December which is yet to be fixed. 

Chief Engineer PHE, Abdul Wahid said they have laid down alternate pipelines and increased the water supply duration. He said the Canal renovation comes under Irrigation and Flood Control Department and may take over a month to complete.

“I have asked the officers concerned to lay down extra pipelines so that the output can be increased. Some consumers reside in newly setup colonies which are poorly planned and are facing issues. Areas that are at the tail end of the water supply are also facing problems which we are trying to address,” he said.