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Water crisis deepens in Kishtwar as several WSS’s are missing on ground
7/9/2020 12:00:36 AM
EARLY TIMES REPORT

JAMMU, July 8: With each passing day, the water crises in Kishtwar district are worsening due to poor management of PHE department who instead of showing its interest in solving the problem fails to act both on ground as well as at administrative level due to lack of coordination among the various officials of the department.
Despite spending funds worth corers of rupees on various Water Supply Schemes (WSSs) by the government, the problem of water shortage faced by the people in Kishtwar District gets deepen, forcing people to hit the streets to lodge protests.
As per the details available with “Early Times”, many water supply schemes worth crores of rupees though were shown functional and the full payments have been withdrawn by the officials of the department during last over one decade, are never been implemented and are practically missing on ground. As per the reports, water supply schemes worth over Rs 20 crore are missing on ground and required verification by independent agencies. According to the people who had remained associated with the department, the main cause of water crises in Kishtwar district is on account of illegal water connections given to some influential persons out of main gravity supply, beside the officials of PHE department also provide water connection illegally out of 8 inch diameter Naigard water supply scheme for commercial use to some blue eyed persons. Naigard water supply scheme is the main source of water supply for Kishtwar town and its suburbs since many water resources in and around Kishtwar has already been dried up due to boring of 390 MW Dool-Hasti power project tunnel passing through Kishtwar.
Though 3 different HRT water lift supply schemes were dedicated in last 6-8 years to bring an end to water crises by NHPC and by the PHE department to Kishtwar town also failed to kick off and developed regular technical snags within few weeks after their high profile inauguration.
The machinery procured by the NHPC with the consultation of PHE department and utilized for the said scheme is said to be sub-standard while same is the case with other water lift schemes on which huge amount of money was spent on repair in last few years then its actual cost.
To overcome the problem of water scarcity due to various defunct water supply schemes, the department claims that it has pressed into service several water tankers to provide water to the inhabitants of Kishtwar but in reality they also function only in papers and fuel charges and other expenses have regularly been withdrawn on account of water supply and same could be verified from the logbooks of those water tankers. If the insiders are to be believed the payments withdrawn on account of water tanker charges runs worth several lakh without fulfilling the real purpose.
Now, the people of Kishtwar are pinning their hopes to get some relief from water scarcity on Rs 55 crore Naigard water supply scheme sanctioned during NC-Congress coalition government as they are optimistic that the administration will show its keen interest in executing this prestigious water project on ground, otherwise there is possibility that this water supply scheme will also met the same fate as previous water supply schemes thanks to the officials-contractors nexus.
People have already started raising questions on the standard operating procedure adopted by the department while executing the scheme on ground as it fails to kicked off even former Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar reviewed the scheme at Kishtwar in the end of 2019.
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