Former Finance minister and senior National Conference leader Abdul Rahim Rather has blamed the government for mishandling the issue of construction of water supply scheme being built in Chadoora area in Budgam district. “The villagers’ concern is that the scheme will affect the water capacity of the Doodh Ganga stream. If water level of the stream is already less, how will it provide water supply and also later irrigation to the agriculture land as the government is claiming?” “42 villages will get affected by the scheme. The government should have taken these villagers into confidence before starting work on the scheme. The government is spending Rs 43 crores but I think this is useless and waste of the public money,” the former finance minister told KNS. He said that from the last nine days the area has shutdown, which has hit business and education in the area. The former legislator of the Chrar-i-Sharif assembly segment said that the government is confusing people over the scheme. “While Ghulam Nabi Hanjura said that the work on the scheme has been stopped, Javaid Ahmad Mir said that work should continue. So both the ministers have created confusion,” he said. Protests have gripped Chrar-e-Sharief and Chadoora following the villagers’ opposition to construct water supply scheme as they fear the scheme, constructed by Economic Reconstruction Agency, will dry up water supply schemes which are already built on Doodh Ganga stream. “We don’t politicize this issue, but the government should understand the feelings of the people. I appeal the government to seriously assess the situation and find an amicable solution to the problem, and not to aggravate the problems of the public here,” he said. Rather said that he has appealed people to maintain peace and not to take law into their own hands. “The government should take people into confidence before working on the scheme,” he said, criticizing the government for not allowing him to visit the Sogam village where he said that police and security forces beat people. “I as a senior leader of NC and legislator who has represented the people for 36 years was not allowed to visit the Sogam village to pay solidarity with the people there. Police informed me that you are under house arrest, despite I had sought permission from the administration for the visit,” Rather told KNS. He said that the government should apologize to the people of Chadoora region for the inconvenience they are facing form the last two weeks.
2015 Kashmir Despatch