Bandipora: Choked with encroachments, a freshwater spring in north Kashmir's Bandipora town vanished; falling prey to contemptible neglect as the Municipal Council just looked on.
After suffocating over the years in the absence of proper upkeep finally leading to its end, it has left behind 'the memories' and 'the stories' associated with it. While the spot, where once 'life would remain abuzz', now corresponds to a “garbage dump.”
"From this spring, scores of those living nearby as well people from far off places would fetch water," Mohammad Aasif, a local living nearby in the Nebrepora locality of the town shares.
He said that the spring vanished with time, getting buried under encroachments and the piles of garbage as people would use it as a dumping site.
Furthermore, locals said, unplanned constructions approved by the administration around the spring also eventually contributed in the loss.
"Many times, despite the spot giving a grotesque appearance, the spring was alive and people in need would fetch water, however, no authority found the need for its upkeep," Shabir Ahamd another local rued. "With time, the spring gradually suffocated to death," he added.
"It's been almost seven to eight years that the spring disappeared, not naturally but due to encroachments and dumping of debris and other material by those living around,” Imran, who runs a grocery store opposite it, shared.
Locals shared that the spot was a 'lively site', with stairs going down to it covered under a tin roof. The reason is that many, apart from fetching water, would do domestic chores too.
Moreover, being situated along the main road and also nearby a famous public park (Nishat) and prayer ground for Eid, people passing by would quench their thirst and also use it for ablution.
“During festivities, the site would remain abuzz with people, as well as children,” Yasir, 32, a local recalls.
The locals nearby, who talked to Greater Kashmir, say they 'regret' that the spring has vanished yet they hold the municipal authorities, whose office is just steps away from it, equally responsible for negligence.
“The Municipal Council authorities never bothered to check what happened with the spring over the decades, but let it vanish, literally under their watch,” Aasif said.
While talking to Greater Kashmir, Wali Mohammad, Executive Engineer, Municipal Council Bandipora, said that they would look into the reasons why the spring vanished as according to him, “they did not know much about it yet.”
He, however, said, “If possible, the Municipal Council Bandipora (MCB) would try to restore the spring to its previous glory.”