JK seeks ‘one time funding’ for completion of 1,600 water supply schemes
Srinagar, Jan 21: Jammu and Kashmir government has sought “one time funding” for completion of around 1600 water supply schemes in the state.
Official sources said that around 1,900 water supply schemes have been started by the successive governments in the six eight years in the state.
At least 173 were allotted for Baramulla, Anantnag 156, Budgam 111, Kupwara 109, Kulgam 101, Shopian 90, Srinagar 98, Bandipora 89, and Ganderbal 73.
Similarly, 294 schemes were sanctioned for Jammu district, 168 for Rajouri, Poonch 89, Kishtwar 99, Kathua and Samba 72 each. While for Leh and Kargil distrcts of Ladakh region, 149 schemes were allotted.
However, work has been halted on atleast 1600 schemes due to lack of funds. “Contractors have stopped work on these schemes after government failed to clear their bills,” an official of the Public Health Engineering Department said.
The official said that state was receiving over Rs 500 crore per annum under National Rural Development Water Programme till 2014.
“Since then, there has been decline in the centre’s funding,” the official said. In 2016-17, centre released around Rs 230 crore under NRDWP, creating impediments in completion of the schemes.
The official said that incumbent government is blaming the NC-Congress coalition for starting these schemes without adequate funds.
The official said that state government has failed to make arrangement of funds from own resources.
“The issue has been raised with the centre for one time funding for completion of these pending schemes,” the official added.
Minister for PHE, Sham Lal Chowdhary, said the state government completed around 300 water supply schemes in the last few years.
“The issue has already been raised with the centre to release more funds for completion of other schemes,” Chowdhary said.
He held the NC-Congress government for starting up schemes without sources of funds.
“Whatever schemes we started are being completed in due time,” he added.
The non-completion of water supply schemes is “forcing” people at several places to fetch water from contaminated sources for drinking purposes.
Hundreds of villages continue to face shortage of drinking water as the government has failed completion of water supply schemes due to lack of funding.
“A water supply scheme was started over 5-years-ago, which has not been completed so far. We fetch water from a stream for drinking purposes,” Ghulam Mohammad, a resident of Drugmulla Kupwara, said.
As per official figures, only 35 percent people in Jammu and Kashmir get tap water from treated sources.
J&K is far behind than neighbouring states where people have more access to treated water than this state.