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news details
Kishtwar people fighting two battles
One against COVID-19, another against water scarcity; residents of Pochal area cover 2 kms to fetch water amidst lockdown
4/5/2020 10:53:31 PM


Asif Iqbal Nayak
Early Times Report

JAMMU, Apr 5: Majority of the people living in Kishtwar District are fighting two battles one against COVID-19 and another against acute scarcity of drinking water.
Many areas in Kishtwar are facing water scarcity despite the fact that government has spent crores on various water supply schemes- majority of them are missing on ground.
As per the details available with Early Times, the people living in Poochal area have to cover around 2 kms to reach the nearest water source to fetch the drinking water risking their lives at a time when whole world is battling the deadly Coronavirus and people are being advised to stay at home.
The people said that despite repeated requests, the department has failed to address the issue as a result of which people are suffering.
Similar complaints were received from Link Road area situated in the outskirts of Kishtwar town.
According to the details during the summer season the crisis of drinking water in Kishtwar town and in Mandal area worsens due to increasing demand of water supply, but this time the problem seems bigger as the people are suffering in Spring as well.
The prestigious Naigard Water Supply Scheme worth Rs 55 Crore has reached Kishtwar town but in absence of non availability of filtration plant which is at initial stage of construction, the said water source cannot be used. "It seems that the officers at the helm of affairs are not performing their legitimate duties. Its due to their grave negligence water crisis is worsening with each passing day," the people rued.
Former Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar had ordered an in depth enquiry into the non functioning of water lift supply Schemes in Kishtwar District that cateres to around to 50% population of Kishtwar town and its peripheral areas. The enquiry had to be conducted by ADDC Kishtwar last year; nothing has been done in this regard so far either by the administration or by the PHE department to overcome the growing water crisis face by the people in Kishtwar town and its adjoining areas along with the floating population.
Though government has spent hundreds of crores on various water supply schemes in Kishtwar District to address the water crisis as majority of the local water sources dried up in the district due to digging of 390 MW Dul-Hasti Power project, but majority of them were only in papers and despite repeated complaints to concerned authorities, nothing was done as people allege that the money has been "swindled."
After J&K's transition into a Union Territory people are hoping that Lt Governor G C Murmu will order a special audit and inquiry into the utilization of funds not only by Hydraulic Division Kishtwar, but also in adjoining Doda District during the past 10-15 years.
Its in place to mention here that Early Times through its various reports highlighted the alleged embezzlements in PHE Hydraulic Division Kishtwar with regards to multi-crore carriage scandal, misappropriation in utilization of funds and non execution of several works on ground.
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