Malshahi Bagh Canal Breach | Five months on, water shortage worsens in Srinagar areas

Five months since the breach in Malshahi Bagah canal in Ganderbal, thousands of Srinagar households have been hit by the water scarcity.
There has been no respite for the people particularly those living in tail end areas and according to the officials the situation could worsen for them in coming days.

Residents of Hazratbal, Soura, Ilahibagh , Ahmednagar, downtown and adjoining areas said the scarcity of drinking water supply has taken a heavy toll on them amid COVID19 pandemic.
The residents living in areas like Soura and Ahmednagar which area at the tail end of the water supply say they don’t even get a few hours of water. They urged authorities to accelerate the work on the canal to provide them some respite.
“It has been over five months and there is no improvement in the water supply in our area. The lockdown has made it worse as it is not easy for us to go out and fetch water. The water flow is very low and our areas which are at the tail end are most affected,” said Mushtaq Ahmed, from Ahmed Nagar.

The canal also supplies water to Rangel water plant which is the major source of drinking water for many downtown areas.
The residents said since December they have been getting inadequate water supply which has affected their daily lives. Many of the Srinagar areas are now relying on bore wells to get water supply.
The canal breach has affected water supply to over two Lakh households in Srinagar.
An official from Public Health Engineering Department (PHE) said they have installed alternative lines to mitigate the problems of people.
“There are some tail end areas around Soura which are most affected. Few days ago we installed additional lines and now most of areas are getting 14 hour daily water supply,” said Abdul Wahid, Chief Engineer PHE.
“The farmers are diverting the water for irrigation of the fields which is affecting the supply. The departments concerned have send notice to those involved. Authorities also plugged in the breaches to make smooth water supply possible,” he said, adding complete restoration will take around a month as COVID19 lockdown also slowed down the work.

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