A water reservoir which was built by the government for irrigating paddy land in Cherwadi village in Kupwara district has became a “money reservoir” for the officials of irrigation department and contractors. Locals in Cherwadi village in Gulgam area told KNS that the Irrigation Department constructed a water reservoir to irrigate their farmland in 2011 at an estimated cost of Rs 2 crore 43 lakhs. “As soon as the reservoir was filled with water, it leaked and the water spilled to our farmland, causing damage to crops,” the locals said. To plug the leak, the department in 2013 spent Rs 15 lakh but it again leaked water. And in 2014, the irrigation department spent Rs 6 lakh more to repair it, the villagers claimed. “However, the leak did not stop. We complained to the department to stop the reservoir as it was repeatedly damaging our crops,” the villagers said. They said that the reservoir did not serve its purpose of irrigating their farmland. “The reservoir filled the pockets of the officials and contractors of the department only, not what it was built for,” they alleged. Executive Engineer for Irrigation Kupwara, Nisar Ahmad told KNS that he does not know about the reservoir. “I have joined few weeks ago here. I will go to the spot to assess the condition of the reservoir,” Ahmad told KNS.
2015 Kashmir Despatch