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After jumping numerous deadlines, Malshahi Bagh water canal breach to be fixed next month

Srinagar: After jumping umpteen deadlines, Jammu and Kashmir government has announced to complete the restoration work of Malshahi Bagh canal in the next few weeks.

The canal had developed a breach due to sloughing in December last year. Later Irrigation and Flood Control Department took up the restoration work, but it was halted due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown in March.

Deputy Commissioner of Ganderbal Shafaqat Iqbal told The Kashmir Monitor that it will take 20-25 days to restore the Malshahi bagh canal.

Malshahi Bagh canal, which is the main source of water to various treatment plants including Rangil, Alesteng, Hadoora, Shuhama, and Bakoora, caters to over two lakh population on the Srinagar outskirts.   

Many areas including Elahi Bagh, Gulab Bagh, Soura, Anchar, Nowshera, Lal Bazar, Alasteng, Shuhama, Habak, Zukra, Batpora, Hazratbal, Kashmir University, National Institute of Technology (NIT), Saderbal and Saida Kadal have been facing water scarcity since December last year.

Officials said Public Health Engineer Department (PHE) had bypassed the breach portion using pipes, but the water flow was not good enough to cater to a huge population. 

Residents of Malla Bagh said they had to fetch water from tube wells to meet their daily needs. Residents said that they had approached several higher-ups in this regard but to no avail. “Despite assurance by the authorities, the department failed to restore the canal”, they said.

During the lockdown, residents had to go out to fetch water for cooking and drinking purposes. “We had to wake up at midnight to store water,” said a resident of Zakura.

Urvat a resident of Malla Bagh said they have been facing water scarcity for more than a year now. “Every time government has failed to fulfill its promise. As the winter has arrived, it has become more challenging for us to manage without water,” she said.