Govt Cornered over ‘No Water during Ramzan’ by PDP Lawmakers

Riyaz ul Khaliq

SRINAGAR

People protesting over non-availability of drinking water in this KL file Image.
People protesting over non-availability of drinking water in this KL file Image.

Jammu and Kashmir Government on Monday faced humiliating situation when ruling Lawmakers raised hue and cry over non-availability of water in their constituencies.

The issue was raised when MoS PHE, Syed Farooq Andrabi was responding to concerns of the lawmakers during Question Hour.

Pressing their supplementaries, around half a dozen Lawmakers mostly from ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cornered their party colleagues holding ministries as “why were people suffering during Ramzan?”

Leading the scathing attack on government, MoS in late Mufti Sayeed led PDP-BJP coalition and Sonwar Lawmaker, Mohammad Ashraf Mir said that “government was misleading”.

“There is no water scheme in my segment,” he told the house, “what is minister saying?”

Mir said that people in the Sonwar assembly segment were suffering due to “non-availability” of drinking water during Ramzan.

Pertinent to mention here, majority of Old Srinagar areas faced severe water crisis last week after water supplying burst at Saidapora area in Eidgah assembly segment. Many Uptown areas too are facing water shortage including Barzulla, Laway Pora and Gund Hassi Bhat. However, Srinagar administration was on job rectifying the problem.

Mir was joined by Tral and Batamaloo Lawmakers. “My area too is facing severe water crisis,” MLA Tral Mushtaq Ahmad told the house. “Several areas including Alochi Bagh are sans water,” MLA Batamaloo, Sheikh Noor Mohammad said.

The heated arguments brought an awkward situation for government which forced senior PDP member and Minister Ab Haq Khan to intervene. “We assure you that issue will be taken looked into,” Khan told angry Mir. “What assurance?” Mir retorted, “there is no water. What is the assurance you are giving me.”

Stabilising the situation Khan assured Mir that water tankers will be rushed to the areas facing water shortage.

Adding to the crisis, Bandipora Lawmaker raised his hand and sought a minute to speak. He was allowed. “Srinagar-Bandipora road is witnessing huge traffic mess because locals of Saderkoot Payeen are protesting against non-availability of drinking water,” he told the house.

“I myself visited the area yesterday and people are suffering from water shortage from last three days,” he told the Speaker during Question Hour, “government should be directed to get it resolved.”

Massive traffic jam was witnessed on Srinagar-Bandipora road early Monday after anti-admin protests by locals of Saderkoot. They were demanding water.

Conceding that state was facing water shortage, Minister Andrabi said, “there are climatic conditions involved.” “There has been no rain for many days.”

This all happened during Question Hour – first hour of the house business. While this report was being filed, peoples representatives were discussing grants to Power and Urban Development departments.

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