During the recent floods in the Valley, the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department suffered extensive damage to its infrastructure resulting into drinking water crisis in urban and rural areas.
Giving details about the loss to the PHE sector, the Chief Engineer, PHE, Mr. A.M. Lanker has maintained that out of 1938 Water Supply Schemes, 1321 rendered non-functional due to washing away of machinery or damage by flood waters. As per the assessment made by the department, there is a tentative requirement of Rs. 162.85 crore for temporary and permanent restoration of schemes, said the Chief Engineer.
The Chief Engineer further maintained that department took the restoration works on war footing and till date 1222 schemes have been temporarily restored. He said, in Srinagar city, out of 6 major filtration plants, 4 got submerged in the flood waters causing huge damages to the electro-mechanical machinery as well as to the civil structures and supply mains.
The department with the strenuous efforts managed the supply to the city areas by restoring Doodganga lift station and by utilizing Dachigam source for Nishat plant. To give immediate succor to the people, the department pressed into service 20 tankers which operated from the make-shift control rooms at Soura, Lal Nagar, Zethyar and Zainakote. Besides, 3 numbers of ROs of 5000 litre capacity being provided by the Government of India were also installed at Kursoo Rajbagh, Mehjoor Nagar and Tengpora where there was no possibility of piped water supply. Presently all the filtration plants which were suffered damages have been made functional fully, said Mr. Lanker.
Besides, Water Supply Schemes in major towns of Valley like, Sopore, Bijbehara, Awantipora, Shopian, Kupwara, Chadoora etc also suffered immense damage. The department took up the restoration work on war-footing and supply has been restored in most of the areas. In deficit areas the tanker service has been launched, said the Chief Engineer.
As regard damage in the rural areas, huge damage caused to the machinery and other infrastructure in south Kashmir, Budgam and Sumbal Sonawari areas due to high flow of water in major nallahs. The restoration work in these areas is in full swing and efforts are afoot to resume water supply. However, where there is major loss, the department has made alternate arrangement of drinking water supply through tankers and installing RO plants. Presently, 151 water tankers have been pressed into service in these areas to meet the requirement, said Mr. Lanker