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Lack of funding, depletion of resources hit water supply schemes

Srinagar, Sep 10: The number of incomplete and defunct water supply schemes continues to rise due to the lack of funding and depletion of resources.

An official document of ministry of drinking water and sanitation reveals that there are 2,004 piped water supply (PWS) schemes under various stages of implementation in the state.

 

Of these, 786 are multi-village and 507 are single village PWS, while 711 tube-wells and hand pumps also existed.

However, the work on 1,600 water supply schemes has been either stopped or going on very slowly for want of funding, an official of Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department, said.

Baramulla was allotted 173 schemes, 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, and Kathua and Samba 72 each.

For Leh and Kargil districts of Ladakh region, 149 schemes were allotted.

With lower precipitation this year, over 40 water-supply schemes in the valley have also been hit, the official said.

The PHE department stipulates a per capita supply of 135 litres in the cities, 70 litres in towns, and 40 litres in villages.

Rural Kashmir suffers most during summers as the department currently supplies 75 million gallons a day (MGD) against a requirement of 85 MGD, the official said.

At the same time, several areas in Kashmir are facing water shortage, bringing inconvenience to the people.

“Our area always faces shortage of drinking water,” said Mohammad Sharif Bhat, a resident of Zakura.

Basharat Ahmad, a resident of Ganderbal town, said they too experience water shortage.

“We rarely receive tap water during the day,” he said.

The PHE department is also grappling with the loss of water due to the obsolete distribution system and inefficient filtration plants.

“We need robust funding from the Centre to revamp the entire distribution system,” another official of PHE department said.

The official said the state was receiving over Rs 500 crore per annum under National Rural Development Water Programme till 2014.

“Since then, there has been a decline in the centre’s funding. We get half the funding annually,” the official said.

Chief Engineer PHE Department said a few areas were facing water shortage due to misuse.

He did not comment on the defunct and incomplete schemes.