by Mir Suneem
Since last many years several villages in Kupwara district still lack basic civic amenities and facilities like drinking water.
The residents of Shumnag Bala and Solina villages in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district live a miserable life due to the absence of water supply in the area.
“The area is without water supply for decades and amidst these harsh winters and snowfall, the local women of the area have to fetch water from wells and river,” said one of the residents of the area.
The locals alleged the government for ignoring the area completely and leaving it without any drinking water facility. They said they have to consume water from surrounding streams and wells which can be dangerous in times of increased pollution and pose a serious threat to their health and well being.
The residents blamed the politicians by saying that they only come to the area during elections for the sake of votes but as soon as the election ends, they disappear.
“They seek votes from us at the times of elections promising to provide basic amenities in the area but betray us,” said Abdul Ahad hailing from Shumnag Bala.
The residents of the area said that they have approached the authorities many times and received assurance of getting the water supply soon but no step has been taken by them in this matter so far.
On contacting DC Kupwara Khalid Jahangir, he said: “We will look into the issue and talk to the department of PHE to take necessary steps in this matter so that this problem is solved soon.”
Meanwhile, Shabir Ahmad AEE PHE division Kralpora Tehsil while talking to Kashmir Life said, “The main line of water supply had already been set up in the area in the year 2017 that was meant to provide water to these villages in turns but it went defunct as soon as some people drew out new connections from it resulting in unavailability of water to the majority of habitants of the region.”
In addition, he said that a new scheme to establish a water supply line has been approved by the government but funds have not been allotted though assurance has been given in this regard.
“We are likely to construct the main line by February or march this year that will provide water supply directly to household taps in the villages. The construction has already started but due to bad weather, the work gets affected. Moreover, we keep sending water tankers for schools or Masjids whenever it is available,” he said.
Earlier in 2017, when the issue was brought into the notice of then MLA Kupwara Bashir Ahmad Dar and AEE Kralpora they assured the reporter that the matter will be resolved within one month.