17 Years On, Water Supply Scheme For Bandipora Hamlets Grounded Before Take-Off

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Water Supply Scheme

Taking up the scheme under Jal Jevan Mission, says PHE Ex Engineer      Water Supply Scheme

Ejaz-ul-haq Bhat

Bandipora: Constructed in the year 2002, water supply scheme for three hamlets-Koota, Satri and Bella has been abandoned by the public health engineering department Bandipora without making it functional.

 According to wire service — Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that in the year 2002 PHE department Bandipora constructed a water supply scheme meant to provide potable water for three hamlets-Koota, Satri and Bella, however, they abandoned the scheme without making it functional.

The locals said that the department spent funds worth lakhs on the construction of the scheme but it is of no use as they have abandoned it and is lying in ruins.

 “The villagers are still suffering for even a drop of water as the scheme was never made functional. Even the pipes that were laid to supply water to our homes were either stolen or have gathered rust as water never flowed through them,” said village head Sooba Khan.

 He said that a reservoir and a pre-settling tank (PST) was constructed under the scheme and a pipe network was laid from Sirindar to Koota to get water which was to be stored in the reservoir and then supplied to three hamlets.

 “But the department abandoned the scheme and the pipes that were laid from Sirindar to Koota were also stolen, speaking volumes about the callous attitude of the concerned authorities. The scheme is lying in ruins even as the villagers suffer immensely for want of potable water,” he said.

The villagers said that there is no provision of potable water in the three hamlets, housing more than 150 households-mostly belonging to Gujjar community, and they have to get water from a nearby stream or an irrigation khul (narrow canal for irrigation purposes).

They told KNO that they are completely dependent on the nearby stream and irrigation khul to fulfill their basic needs like washing clothes, utensils and drinking purpose.

“Our women folk have to bear the brunt as they have to walk miles to get water from the stream and fulfill the basic needs even in this harsh winter. Since 2002 when the water supply scheme was constructed we are running from pillar to post to get this scheme functional but nobody listens to us,” they said. The villagers claimed that the department had appointed a watchman for watch and ward of the scheme and he is drawing salary from the department for this purpose.

“We don’t understand what for he is drawing salary as the scheme has been abandoned by the department and is lying in ruins,” they said.

They alleged that the concerned officials have swindled lakhs of funds in the name of constructing the water supply scheme which is why the scheme was never made functional. They appealed the Lt. Governor to order a high-level probe as to why the scheme was never made functional despite spending lakhs of rupees over its construction.

 Executive Engineer PHE division Bandipora, Abdul Khaliq Qureshi acknowledged that the scheme was abandoned and now they are taking up the scheme under Jal Jeevan Mission to make it functional and provide water supply to the villagers.

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