Bandipora: The residents of Vevan, a village in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district are jubilant about getting portable water supply for the first time.
The Jal Shakti Department has connected the village to a water source in the mountains, around 6 km from the village.
The village, 30 km from the district headquarters, has long been ignored in terms of providing essential services like potable water, power, and healthcare. Locals, especially the elderly, recount tales of how they survived without potable water.
A local, Wali Muhammad Bhat, 60, is joyous.
“This is the first time in my life that we will have water supplied to our homes,” he says. “We used to dig pits and wait for rain for consumption.”
Bhat says that this was the first time officers had contacted them and shared the good news with them.
At the time of marriage functions, the villagers would fetch water on horsebacks from long distances.
Although the village was blessed with a few springs, the water from those was insufficient for the consumption of 150 families.
An earlier government scheme failed after supplying water sourced from springs to a few dozen households while the water supply pipes developed rust.
The latest project is estimated at Rs 2.60 crore and includes components like a slow sand water filtration plant and a water service reservoir apart from laying of supply lines and household distribution.
For the time being, the department has been able to connect to the source and deliver water to the village’s doorstep, a major achievement for the department as well as the locals.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Jal Shakti Department Executive Engineer Fida Hussain Rizvi said, “Connecting the source has been a Herculean task for both the contractors as well as the workers working up in the mountains. We connected pipes 6 km from the village in the middle of the Harmukh mountain range.”
Rizvi said providing water to every household was their mission and that they would complete it soon in this village.