Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) leader Irfan Naqeeb on Monday disparaged the slipshod disposition of Public Health Engineering now Jal Shakti department for leaving people yearning for potable water in Srinagar city especially during the Coronavirus outbreak and the holy month of Ramadan.
In a statement issued here, Naqeeb said that there are number of areas in Shaher-e-Khaas which are reeling under acute water crisis for the last one month. “Residents of Bah-e-Ali Mardan Khan, Lal Bazar including sub areas like Botakadal, Botshah Mohalla, Mughal Mohalla, Genz Bagh, Umar Colony, Bagwanpora, Amda Kadal, Zonimar, Nowshehra and its adjacent areas are facing acute water scarcity that too amid the COVID outbreak and in the holy month of Ramadan,” the JKAP leader said, demanding immediate intervention of the authorities to restore the water supply to these areas.
He said the inhabitants of Shaher-e-Khaas are aggravated due to the acute shortage of drinking water and the taps in almost all localities in the old city of Srinagar are running dry. “Women in particular are finding it difficult to run their kitchen in wake of water shortage. The cleanliness guidelines for limiting the spread of COVID-19 are being observed in breach due to water shortage. Thus the administration will be responsible for any kind of eventuality,” the JKAP leader remarked.
He said over two lakh households in Srinagar are suffering for want of potable water and the authorities are behaving like mute spectator in the prevailing crisis. “I am told that the Jal Shakti department is reportedly yet to address the breach in Malshahi Bagh feeding canal caused in December last year, which has resulted into the acute water crisis in Srinagar,” Naqeeb said.
He said despite a sanctioned amount of over 2 Crore rupees for repairs of the canal, the contractor firm and labourers have abandoned the work in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak which has put a question mark on the claims being made on functioning of the essential services department in J&K. “Four months have passed since the breach in that canal, the authorities seems least bothered about its repairs which could have eventually mitigated the sufferings of people in the city,” he added.
“I appeal the divisional commissioner Kashmir and chief engineer PHE to address this grave issue and order immediate restoration work on the feeding canal to various schemes including Rangil (WSS), Alesteng (WSS), Hadoora, Shuhama and Bakoora, so that the people of Srinagar are supplied uninterrupted potable water in these pressing times of pandemic and the holy month of Ramadan,” Naqeeb pleaded.
He demanded that till the Malshahi Bagh-Ganderbal feeding canal to various water supply projects in Srinagar is restored, the Jal Shakti department should press adequate number of water tankers into service for the areas suffering for want of potable water in City especially the entire area of Shaher-e-Khas.