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Safe drinking water distant dream in many villages in Bandipora

Safe drinking water distant dream in many villages in Bandipora

Srinagar, Jun 29 (UNI) About 2000 families from many villages in Bandipora in north Kashmir -- known for glaciers, fresh water lakes and streams -- have to walk several kilometers everyday to get water for drinking purposes as no water is being supplied through pipelines to households.



People from Nowgam block, which comprises many villages in Bandipora, alleged they are being neglected by the administration and deprived of the basic necessity of life as their pleas for regular water supply to the households has not materialised so far. “We have to pay Rs 700 per tanker of water (500 liters) in order to get water near our residences,” they alleged.



However, Jal Shakti Department Chief Engineer, Kashmir, Abdul Waheed told UNI that he has not received any such report about non-availability of water though assured that he would look into the allegations.



“Most of the 2000 households have water connections, but from last over one-month, water has not been made available at all to over 25000 people living in the area. Earlier, we used to get water for an hour or so in every two to three days,” Shabaz Ahmad, a resident of Nowgam, told UNI.



He said despite hot and humid weather, villagers, particularly women and girls, from these areas have to walk several kilometers everyday to get drinking water. “The area from where we get water is also not hygienic and could lead to infection and waterborne disease along locals,” he said.



“If we order a water tanker with 500 liters of water, we have to pay Rs 700 for it and that is very expensive for us during the time of economic unrest following COVID-19 pandemic,” he alleged.



Shabaz said the villages have approached officials from Jal Shakti Department to get their issue resolved. However, he said no action has been taken so far to mitigate their problems. “If a permanent solution was not given to our water problem, we will hit the streets and protest against it as he have no other option left,” he warned.



Meanwhile, Mr Waheed said if the allegations are correct, he would order for construction of a new scheme under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). “We have to provide water connections and cover all areas in the valley by December 2022 under JJM,” he added.

UNI ABS SY 1602

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