While hundreds of water supply schemes were taken up for execution over the years, number of them has not been completed due to non-availability of funds, ET has learnt. Official sources told KNS that during past one decade, Public Health Engineering (PHE) department has taken up thousands of water supply schemes for execution in the state. “Ironically, authorities have failed to complete a number of schemes due to non-availability of funds. People are compelled to consume water from the contaminated sources,” an official of PHE department said. He said that these schemes were started by the government over the years without knowing the source of funds. “The contractors have stopped work on many of these schemes after government failed to clear their bills,” the official said. In Baramulla district, sources said during the last 10 years, the work on over 200 water supply schemes was started but only few schemes have been completed. Sources said that in Budgam district’s Chadoora area, the work on around 30 schemes was started for the past five years, but the government has failed to complete these schemes owing which people fetch water from streams and other contaminated water sources. Officials sources say the worst affected of non-completion of these schemes are people from far-flung areas of Handwara, Uri, Kulgam and Gurez, Baramullah,Sopore areas. “It has been learnt that of the 1800 water supply schemes that were functioning in the Valley, 1300 schemes were damaged by the last year floods.“Government has failed to make their permanent restoration since the floods hit the state thus denying clean water to a large chunk of population,” sources said. Sources said that in some areas, water is being supplied through water tanks while in some areas people fetch water from streams and rivers without being filtered. Minister for PHE, Sukhnandan Kumar admitted that majority of water supply schemes on which work was started over the years could not be completed.“The previous government had started work on water supply schemes for execution without knowing the source of funds. I will ensure completion of work in due time,” the Minister said. He claimed that government is committed to provide clean and safe drinking water to people and said that steps are afoot to augment water supply in all the areas of the state.
2015 Kashmir Despatch